Hungry Ghosts

There is a brilliant man named Dr. Gabor Mate who advocates for those addicted to drugs. He wrote a book I am currently reading:

Buy It – In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Why am I reading a book about addiction? Addiction; specifically to opiates, has affected my family and friends for several years. No one is immune. It truly is an epidemic like no other right now. It isn’t a moral failure on anyone’s behalf – it can truly happen to ANYONE.

READ: 10 Fascinating Facts About the Opiate Crisis

What is happening now in our world is truly scary. All it takes is one prescription, one drink, one hit and you can be hooked.

There is a huge debate as to why this is happening:

Are people born with it?

Is it a disease?

Is addiction a moral failure on someone’s behalf?


I have medicated my own anxiety many times in various ways. I know I am not immune in the pursuit of happiness, trying to find relief from every day ailments. It is really fucking scary how quickly these situations can escalate.

People can become addicted to anything. Sure, drugs are highly abused but there are other things people become addicted to: food, their phones, relationships, sex, cutting, drinking.

Heck, even the author of the book admitted to being severely addicted to classical music of all things.


I would love for everyone to have amazing mental health, positive experiences and love in their lives but I know it will take a lot for the world to change.

Some people are extremely sensitive to their own circumstances and have had horrible things happen in their lives but they don’t become addicts.

Some are extremely high functioning addicts and you would never suspect they suffer from anything.

Then there are some where addiction takes over their life; it swallows them up and spits them out in pieces.

The author of the book I’m reading refers to them as “Hungry Ghosts,” trying to feed their insatiable hunger for self destruction all while becoming shells of themselves.

Imagine being that lost?

Unfortunately I have seen it, I’ve experienced it and it’s just awful. When dealing with these situations, one needs to remember that person cannot help themselves.

They do have choices but they cannot make the right ones because their brain won’t let them.

Even if their brain did let them, their body wouldn’t because the effects of withdrawal are enough to make someone want to kill themselves.


For those suffering; either by their own hands or someone else’s – I feel your pain. It hurts and it makes you bitter, angry and sad.

What are the answers though for dealing with these situations?

If you help too much, you are called an enabler.

If you don’t help at all, some may think you are selfish.

Rehab only helps a small percentage of the population because getting sober isn’t the challenge, it is staying sober.

How do we keep it from recurring over and over again?

I highly recommend reading the book I suggested if you or someone you know is suffering from addiction. It has helped me gain insight on various situations and if I can help one person, then maybe we will find a cure after all.

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