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Embraced by the Needle by Gabor Maté
Transcript of Embraced by the Needle by Gabor Maté
A Vancouver family physician and counsellor with a special interest in counselling adults, parents, and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Widely known for his expertise on addictions, mental health, and parenting
Won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize
"Embraced by the Needle" was first published in the
Mail, August 27, 2001
Embraced by the Needle
Maté talks about how traumatic childhood experiences or poor relationships in ones childhood results in individuals becoming drug addicts in the future
His theory is that if an individual does not receive warmth, affection, and love at a young age it is highly likely that they will become a substance addict
He believes no drug itself is addictive but it is the chemical and emotional vulnerability that causes addiction
Also believes that families who do nurture and care for their children still tend to find a substance addict in their family because outside variables affect the atmosphere of the home (economic pressure, political disruption, and relationship problems)
Tone: informative, formal, persuasive
First person point of view
Use of evidence: scientific statistics
Anecdote: one on one/ face to face anecdotes to prove his argument
For example, Mate relates scientific statistics of infant rats who get less grooming from their mothers which results in them having fewer natural benzo-receptors in the part of the brain that controls anxiety to human beings. He says that endorphins are released in the brain when there are warm, non-stressed, calm interactions with the parenting figures, and if there is a lack of those endorphins at a young age, there will be a greater need for external sources to provide that endorphin release, hence resulting in a greater vulnerability to addictions.
"Addictions always originate in unhappiness, even if hidden" (Maté, 288).
by Gabor Maté
Embraced by the Needle
Has your perspective about drug use changed after reading this essay ?
What are your thoughts about this...
"But what of families where there was not abuse, but love, where parents did their best to provide their children with a secure nurturing home? One also sees addiction arising in such families. The unseen factor here is the stress the parents themselves lived under even if they did not recognize it. Stress could come from relationship problems, or from outside circumstances such as economic pressure or political disruption" (Maté, 289)
Do you agree that even the happiest families who love and nurture their child can further lead on to him/her becoming a substance addict due to unseen factors like stated above?