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This is a deeply penetrating book about addicts and addictions. The book was written with compassion and understanding by a Doctor who works with addicts professionally and is also confronted with his own addictions. The author provides information on current brain science research that points to potential causes of addiction and explains why addicts continue to seek their drug or behavior of choice despite irreparable harm to themselves and their families. While listening to some of the stories of the drug addicts is a little depressing, the author also points out that you don’t need to be addicted to drugs to be considered an addict. Compulsive shopping, overeating and overworking are just a few common socially acceptable addictions. The author also talks about the failure of “The war on drugs” and some statistics to back up his liberal views on governmental drug policy. This is great information for anyone who has to deal with their own addiction or the addiction of a loved one.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
There is a synergy of perspectives here infused with tremendous compassion.
I highly commend this book to anyone with an interest in understanding addiction.
The book moves beyond personal experiences and cases into a thorough analysis of both the drives of addiction and the society which promotes and condemns an addictive nature.
This was surprisingly beautiful book as well as being very poignant. It opens the heart as well as the mind to some remarkable insights into this issue.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
He knows his stuff. I've watched a lot of his talks on you tube. I love his empathic way of talking on this subject. Would have been better if he had narrated but I guess he is a busy guy.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I think this book laboured a bit. In trying to build empathy with the characters it seemed to get a bit prosaic.
Did In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts inspire you to do anything?
What I really liked about this book was that it showed addiction in its broad terms as a way of coping with some inner emptiness. It used the stories of people that were hooked on illicit drugs who preferred the pain caused by their addiction, to the pain of their life, and generalised that addiction to other more socially acceptable things people rely on to fill the void.
Lots of very interesting and useful information. Thought in the final chapters the author became repetitive