In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Close Encounters with Addiction

by Gabor Maté

To heal addiction, you have to go back to the start…

Featured on Russell Brand’s podcast Under the Skin

Dr Gabor Maté is one of the world’s most revered thinkers on the psychology of addiction. His radical findings – based on decades of work with patients challenged by catastrophic drug addiction and mental illness – are reframing how we view all human development.

In this award-winning modern classic, Gabor Maté takes a holistic and compassionate approach to addiction, whether to alcohol, drugs, sex, money or anything self-destructive. He presents it not as a discrete phenomenon confined to a weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs through (and even underpins) our society; not as a medical ‘condition’, but rather the result of a complex interplay of personal history, emotional development and brain chemistry.

Distilling cutting-edge research from around the world, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. Blending personal stories and science with positive solutions, and written in spellbinding prose, it is a must-read that will change how you see yourself, others and the world.

10th anniversary edition, updated with new chapter on the Opiod crisis


  • Ebury Publishing; October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473563186
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
  • Author: Gabor Maté
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital

In The Press

"With unparalleled sympathy for the human condition, Gabor Maté depicts the suffocation of the spirit by addictive urges, and holds up a dark mirror to our society. This is a powerful narrative of the realm of human nature where confused and conflicted emotions underlie our pretensions to rational thought"


About The Author

Gabor Maté is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. For his ground-breaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University. To learn more, join his e-news list at www.drgabormate.com.