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American Society of Addiction Medicine
"Addiction is a treatable chronic medical; disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individuals life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences."
Dr. Gabor Mate
"Addiction is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances"
"Don't ask why the alcohol," or "why the drug.", ask "Why the pain?"
The BioPsychoSocial Perspective
The "BioPsychoSocial" perspective, is an all encompassing term used by Dr. Gabor Mate in his eye opening presentation about addiction, which can beviewed here. Dr. Mate asserts that addiction cannot be fully understood unless one looks at the biology, environment, and events in an addicted person's life.
For 12 years Dr. Mate administered care, and advocated for the population of the Downtown Eastside (DTES), a neighborhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This area is one of the city's oldest, and is known for its extremely high levels of drug use, poverty, crime, mental illness, prostitution, and homelessness.