A Summary of Key Ideas from ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts’ by Gabor Mate

“However, once he decided to stop using drugs, he accessed a residential treatment centre that could offer him a highly accepting, supportive, yet challenging support system and programme to help him abstain.”

Richard Devine, Social Work Enthusiast and Blogger

By Richard Devine, Social Worker and Bath and North East Somerset Council

Introduction

‘Woke up feeling very scared, was very emotional and anxious for over one hour, then I remembered I had a can of beer, drank that and it receded my fears long enough to get to the chemist to pick up Valium’.

This was an entry from my dad’s journal, written at some point during my childhood. He spent the second half of my childhood misusing Alcohol, Cannabis, Heroin, Methadone, Valium, and Diazepam.

Growing up with my dad, I witnessed my dad purchase, prepare, and consume drugs. Despite this, I didn’t explicitly understand the morality or legality of it. It was simply what my dad did and I didn’t have a judgement about it. However, that isn’t to say that his drug use didn’t affect me.

My dad relapsed and began using drugs and drinking alcohol when I…

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