Addiction as a response to trauma

With his extensive experience, Dr Gabor Maté argues that addiction needs to be viewed in a different way. He sees addiction as a response to trauma, usually in childhood.

Addiction is an attempt to escape suffering temporarily … It’s people’s response to a problem they don’t know how to deal with.

Dr Gabor Maté
Healing not curing

As for healing addiction, Dr Gabor Maté carefully explains how societies tend to add more suffering to the trauma already suffered. Addicts are going to turn to the relief that they know.

The ideology of helping professionals looking for cures, means that most don’t ask the right questions to enable healing.

Healing happens inside a person. So it’s never a question of anybody curing anybody else. But we can guide people to healing if we ask the right questions.

Dr Gabor Maté

Seeing addiction as a response to trauma means building broader social change with new ways to think about and deal with a problem.

Other common traumatic personal and family problems call us to rethink and reframe the help we provide.