A very short blog today on the subject of addiction and in particular, to introduce this book by Dr Gabor Mate´ which has recently been republished in the UK as part of its 10th Anniversary. It’s one of the most moving, empathic and helpful books that I have ever read on this subject. Gabor is a retired Canadian family physician who for many years, worked as a doctor in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside.

Here he saw firsthand the ravages of homelessness, mental illness and addiction. And he tried his best to help in any way that he could. But addiction is crafty and powerful and the very human stories that pepper the pages take one from hope to horror in equal measure. The question according to Dr Mate´ is not “Why the addiction?” But “Why the pain?”. It’s a book for everyone, family members, those struggling and those who seem to have it all together. Because to be human is to have encounters with addiction, in some context.

For those of you who have an hour or so to spare, here’s a recent YouTube video featuring Gabor Mate´ and British GP, Dr Rangan Chatterjee talking about this subject. It’s brilliant.