So weâ€™ve slept on the review by Gabor MatÃ© of Wasted in the Globe and Mail, and while weâ€™re, of course, delighted to get attention from the Globe & Mail and from Gabor MatÃ©, we feel that Dr. MatÃ© has himself wasted an opportunity.
He used fully half of the review of our book to expound on his own theory about the roots of addiction – childhood trauma – leaving the reader to essentially guess at what the bookâ€™s science exploration was about. Yes, we could certainly have made mention that much addiction involves childhood trauma. As a psychotherapist, Mike knows all too well how childhood trauma destroys the soul and sends so many to seek relief in substances. But we didnâ€™t choose to focus on the roots of the problem.
We wanted to write about solutions, solutions that havenâ€™t received a lot of ink – like medications, motivational interviewing, and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training). We donâ€™t necessarily buy into the disease model, but as long as the Canadian Medical Association calls addiction an illness, it is a duty of doctors to treat it. And that is largely not happening in this country.
Weâ€™re all for a substance user who has suffered childhood trauma taking on the difficult work to heal, but wouldnâ€™t it be great if doctors helped treat their symptoms in the meantime? We only wish the esteemed Dr. MatÃ© had taken the opportunity to make readers aware that there is now a broader toolkit to treat our number 1 health problem.
– Mike and Maureen