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View Diary: Sin, stigma and syringes: The struggle for harm reduction (109 comments)

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  •  Gabor Mate on Addiction (1+ / 0-)
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    Denise Oliver Velez

    According to Dr. Gabor Mate, addiction is a consequence of a brain chemical imbalance, frequently caused by a breakdown of the normal process of brain development. He writes that certain major childhood stresses can cause this breakdown. Much of his experience comes from his work with addicts in a run-down area of Vancouver, BC. His book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, is a must-read for anyone concerned with harm reduction. A 20 minute interview with him on Democracy Now! can be found at
    I cannot recommend this book highly enough. His portrayals of his patients bring out their humanity, and his explanations of brain chemistry are comprehensible to those who aren't science geeks. He also says that the last thing we should do to addicts is punish them for their drug use because it worsens the problem instead of helping to heal them. He is, of course, a strong proponent of harm reduction and safe injection sites.

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