Cultural Quote #75: Addiction

In other words, the addiction wasn’t your problem. Your problem was you had a lot of emotional pain you didn’t know what to do with. So when you say, why do people use substances? Or why do people engage in addictions in general? It’s because they have a problem they don’t know what to do with. And if you really understand their addiction, we have to ask, “Well, what gave you so much emotional pain, and how come you didn’t have the internal resources—this is not a judgment, it’s simply an inquiry—how come you lacked at some point the internal resources to deal with that pain in a more creative, forward-looking way that would help you resolve the pain, rather than to perpetuate it?”

Gabor Mate

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