The Power Of Addiction And The Addiction To Power

1758 words - 7 pages

After watching and analyzing Dr. Gabor Maté’s speech about power and addiction, it is extremely evident and clear to see how vague the word “addiction” is and how the global community today has related such a topic to a limited discourse that pertains simply to substance use and abuse. Dr. Maté talks about the various addictions to drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and others throughout his video, however where I agree most with him is when he discusses the need for the substance use and abuse and what can happen as a result.

Maté describes his definition of addiction as “any behaviour that gives temporary relief, temporary pleasure, but in the long term causes negative consequences, harm, and can’t give [the addiction] up despite the negative consequences”(Maté, 2012). I believe the most integral piece of information throughout Dr. Maté’s address is this definition. He does not define addiction as being related to any drug or substance, but rather defines it properly in my opinion by using blanket terminology such as “any behaviour.” Maté then goes on to define the addict, and actually addresses himself as an addict. Although he states that he has never done any drugs, he defines himself as an addict to classical music, and how he has been unable to give up this addiction of his, despite the fact that he has set himself up to face extreme consequences like losing his job to fulfill this need of his.

Dr. Maté’s analysis of an addict also peaked my interest and allowed me to view such situations completely different, in which I am now in full agreement with. Maté describes how an addict gets three things out of the addiction: pain relief, control and power (Maté, 2012). He then asks the question of why are these qualities absent from their life? The answer he gives I agree with, and that pertains to looking deeper into the lives of the addicts and even his patients that he has dealt with. What is commonly found is neglect, abuse, abandonment, and constant emotional hurt (Maté, 2012). One of the key aspects of child development is enrichment, where the child can develop in a positive environment. However, if deprivation occurs, where there is a lack of normal stimulation, comfort, basic nutrition and love, the negative consequences are detrimental (Coon, Mitterer, Brown, Malik, & McKenzie, 2014). Maté goes on to suggest that when the child develops, they lack dopamine, which is a chemical released to give motivation, and endorphins, which act as natural painkillers that also stimulate love (Maté, 2012; Coon, Mitterer, Brown, Malik & McKenzie, 2014). Dr. Maté suggests if there is no motivation or love throughout the child’s life, they will turn to drugs for these chemicals. In the addict’s case, the drugs fill the emptiness that could not have been filled when they were young (Maté, 2012). This was even proven as Maté (2012) outlines studies where mice have had their endorphins “knocked out” of their brain and therefore they do not...

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