Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
No society can understand itself without looking at its shadow side. I believe there is one addiction process, whether it is manifested in the lethal substance dependencies of my Downtown Eastside patients; the frantic self_soothing of overeaters or shopaholics; the obsessions of gamblers, sexaholics and compulsive internet users; or the socially acceptable and even admired behaviours of the workaholic. Drug addicts are often dismissed and discounted as unworthy of empathy and respect. In telling their stories my intent is twofold: to help their voices to be heard and to shed light on the origins and nature of their ill_fated struggle to overcome suffering through substance abuse. They have much in common with the society that ostracizes them. If they seem to have chosen a path to nowhere, they still have much to teach the rest of us. In the dark mirror of their lives, we can trace outlines of our own.There is a host of questions to be considered. Among them:• What are the causes of addictions?• What is the nature of the addiction-prone personality?• What happens physiologically in the brains of addicted people?• How much choice does the addict really have?• Why is the "War on Drugs" a failure and what might be a humane, evidence-based approach to the treatment of severe drug addiction?• What are some of the paths for redeeming addicted minds not dependent on powerful substances—that is, how do we approach the healing of the many behaviour addictions fostered by our culture?
From the Trade Paperback edition.