Dr. Gábor Máté, a Canadian physician who specializes in the study and
treatment of addiction. In this position, he has written several
best-selling books - "Scattered Minds" and "When the Body Says No" have
been translated into nine languages- and he has become a regular
columnist for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail.
Dr. Máté has worked with the Amazonian decoction ayahuasca for treatment purposes.
For seven years he served as Medical Co-ordinator of the Palliative
Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital, caring for the terminally ill.
More recently he worked for twelve years in Vancouver's notorious
Downtown Eastside neighbourhood with patients
suffering from hardcore drug addiction, mental illness and HIV.
From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines is an in-depth analysis
of psychedelic drugs in light of current scientific, medical, and cultural
knowledge, and on the validity of psychedelics as adjuncts to therapy; as
crucial but neglected ‘taboo’ medicines; and as technologies of consciousness.
In the last few years psychedelics have been given a new respectability in
science and in therapy. Universities in Zurich, at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and
at the University of California, are conducting human trials with psychedelics
to treat a number of afflictions from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to
cluster headaches, addictions, and end-of-life anxiety.
But the story is much bigger: outside of research centers, a growing
population has embarked upon psychic adventures using all manner of exotic
substances, natural and synthetic, illegal and not-yet-illegal.