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Digital Recordings

Dr. Gabor Maté on Addiction: From Heroin to Workaholism - A Biopsychosocial Perspective

For twelve years Dr. Maté was the staff physician at a clinic for drug-addicted people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he worked with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver Supervised Injection Site. This 90-minute recording draws on cutting-edge science to illuminate where and how addictions originate and what they have in common.

In his most recent bestselling book In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, he shows that their addictions do not represent a discrete set of medical disorders; rather, they merely reflect the extreme end of a continuum of addiction, mostly hidden, that runs throughout our society.

Contrary to what is often claimed, the source of addictions is not to be found in genes, but in the early childhood environment where the neurobiology of the brain’s reward pathways develops and the where the emotional patterns that lead to addiction are wired into the unconscious. Stress, both then and later in life, creates the predisposition for addictions, whether to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or to behavioral addictions such as shopping or sex.

Helping the addicted individual requires that we appreciate the function of the addiction in his or her life. More than a disease, the addiction is a response to a distressing life history and life situation. Once we recognize the roots of addiction and the lack it strives (in vain) to fill, we can develop a compassionate approach toward the addict, one that stands the best chance of restoring him or her to wholeness and health.


Product Details
Gabor Maté, MD
1 Hour 28 Minutes
Media Type:
Digital Recordings



This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.


Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals


The source of addictions

  • What happens chemically and physiologically in the brains of people with substance dependency or behavior addiction
  • The false “blessings” of addiction as experienced by the addict (e.g., as emotional anesthetic, as personality booster, as social lubricant, and so on)

The development of the addicted mind

  • How early childhood experiences shape the brain
  • The social basis of addiction in economic, cultural and political dislocation and disempowerment
  • How much choice does the addict really have, and how much responsibility

Developing a therapeutic relationship in which healing occurs

  • How to encourage the addict to take responsibility

The prevention of addiction, both in adolescence and earlier


  • Describe the chemical and physiological action in the brains of substance dependency.
  • Summarize how early childhood experiences shape the brain.
  • Explain Dr. Maté’s view on the social bias of addiction.

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