summary of gabor mates embracing the needle

Summary of Gabor Mate’s “Embracing the Needle”

Gabor Mate’s essay “Embracing the Needle” presents the origins of addiction and its effect upon the people who suffer from it. He seeks to educate about the causes of addiction, and how people continue in addictive cycles. Mate states that even when the source of the unhappiness is not obvious, that is what addiction always stems from. The essay begins by exploring causes of addiction and goes on to provide examples of situations which influence a person to develop and sustain harmful coping behaviours.

In the first part of this essay, Mate comments on the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, indicating that it is known as the area in Canada most heavily populated by addicts. He states that much of the addict population also struggles with mental illness. He explains the role of methadone in quelling painful withdrawal from opiates, going on to provide an anecdote of the effect of an opiate drug on the user from one of his clients: “The first time I did heroin…it was like a warm, soft hug.” (Mate, 273) Several scientific pieces of evidence provide reasons for susceptibility to addiction both biologically and emotionally. He indicates that certain neurotransmitters are required to self-soothe and control pain, stating that “Infant rats who get less grooming from their mothers will have fewer natural benzo receptors in the part of the brain that controls anxiety. “ (Mate 275) He says that humans require the same consideration in regards to stimulation of receptors in the brain, stating that the less an infant receives stimulation that triggers a release of endorphins, the greater the likelihood of addiction.

In the second part of the essay, Mate discusses several anecdotes of situations that contribute to the development of addictions in his clients. He asserts that the majority of women and many men who occupy the Downtown Eastside were sexually abused as children, as well as deserted and abused in other manners. As an example, Mate’s relates that one of his clients, Carl, was left restrained in an unlit room as a child because of his high level of activity. Mate reports that many people who become addicted grew up in loving homes by explaining that if the parents are under stress or suffer from anxiety or depression, the child may not have enough endorphin stimulating experiences. Mate ends his essay with another anecdote of a client’s struggle with childhood trauma.

Mate, Gabor “Embraced by the Needle” Essay Writing for Canadian Students 6th Ed. Stewart, Kay L. (et al.) Toronto: Pearson Canada, 2007 273-277 Print

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Get Better Grades Effortlessly
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Get better grades effortlesslyIt’s cheaper than you might think

Effortlessly get the essays and grades you need. You can now get any essay, on any subject and at ANY deadline with just 10 minutes of your time (or less). Your professor will love you for it!