insisting on humanity

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
“from my point of view, the question is not why the addiction,
but why the pain?”

-Gabor Mate, M.D.

Submitted: June 21, 2011

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Submitted: June 21, 2011

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if you have yet to hear dr. gabor mate
speak about addiction
&
the completely humanistic conclusions which he
draws from
spending years working with those whose lives
most would describe as
destitute,
then you
should---
because when you listen to this man talk
even the tone of his voice
insists
on humanity---
that is to say,
what mate speaks of is not the societal norm that is
held so high by
lawmakers & those
who profit from throwing individuals in
prison,
but instead, he places no blame on the
individual who is addicted---
he has seen those in the east end section of
vancouver for a
decade,
and if asked about his work,
without hesitation, not having a moment’s pause,
he mentions that
“for one thing, addiction takes on a human face.”
 
the equation is as follows:
if addiction can take on a human face,
and you & i have human faces,
then we are no different from those addicted to certain
drugs, which we have been fortunate enough
to avoid
thus far in our existence---
“it takes away the otherness of the addict.”
 
do you know a shopaholic?
they are addicts.
do you know a workaholic?
they are addicts.
 
mate points out that
tobacco,
a legal drug,
has killed more individuals than all of those massacred in the
genocidal acts of the nazis
throughout the whole of world war II---
and so,
why is heroine, cocaine, crystal meth, etc.
thought to be so much more
negative,
in consideration with those drugs that are legal and
used by the majority of us on a daily basis?
why do these drugs & not others carry with them such a stigma?
 
what has happened to us when we were young molds us for the experiences of our lives,
&
“life long emotional pain”
is
“soothed by the drugs” we choose.
 
if some of us have a different circuitry in our brains,
which make some of us more susceptible to certain kinds of
addiction than others,
it is not our fault,
and those that tell us different do so because they do not see that
human face
which is brought into a room
whenever an addict enters.
 
understand that you cannot separate the human from the addict.
 
mate states that before the whites came to north america,
alcohol, tobacco & peyote
were all being used by the native population,
but they were not addicts.
 
it was the trauma
which the native population underwent for generations
which when passed on,
created a need for
soothing---
a way out of the pain brought on by the destruction of their
culture.
 
when you see a politician
pass another law
which is meant to strengthen the
hopeless &
futile
“war on drugs”---
make sure to look in their eyes
because you may find they have become
less
human.
 
with 5% of the world’s population &
25% of the world’s jailed population residing in the united states
alone,
you know that the cold eyes of this person representing no one but
vested financial interests,
knows no compassion,
and is not interested in any kind of real
healing
amongst those who desperately need it.
 
compassion + science = the only successful approach to this problem.


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