Dr. Gabor Maté: Ayahuasca and Addiction

Dr. Gabor Maté is the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and resource centre for the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and one of the experts interviewed in Vine of the Soul. Many of his patients suffer from mental illness, drug addiction and HIV, or all three. Dr. Maté has also written a book on addiction: In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction.

In his interview with director Richard Meech, Dr. Maté has this to say:

“Addiction comes from a sense of deficient emptiness. And trying to complete yourself from the outside is the essence of addiction.”

“With ayahuasca one has an opportunity to experience oneself as whole and complete. If you can actually get that you’re whole and complete, what is there to be filled from the outside anymore?”

“Ayahuasca can help people see that in two or three ceremonies, if it’s the appropriate shamanic leader and if it’s the right environment. Well, that has the potential to heal addictions.”

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