"The roots of addiction can be traced to childhood"

As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books ...

As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. Photo/Wikipedia

Renowned speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. On Monday he will be holding several lectures on the topic at Harpa concert hall and conference centre in Reykjavik. 

For twelve years Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site. With over 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience and extensive knowledge of the latest findings of leading-edge research, Dr. Maté is a sought-after speaker and teacher, regularly addressing health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America.

"Most people believe that addiction is the result of an individual taking wrong or bad decisions, or that it's some sort of disease in the brain," explains Maté to Morgunblaðið. "When people become addicted to something they are usually trying to escape emotional pain. The first question is therefore not: Why addiction, but rather: Why the pain? And the pain is from something that happened during that individual's childhood," adding that addiction has roots in emotional trauma endured in childhood. "All addictions, whether its to substances or the way someone behaves is a means of escaping emotional pain and stress. To understand the reason we need to look at that person's life and what happened to them in childhood."

As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and co-authored Hold on to Your Kids. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages. 

"I am expecting representatives from the Icelandic Red Cross, health service workers and indivudals who have themselves dealt with addiction or addicts."

For tickets and more information for the event click HERE. 

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