From Publishers Weekly
"The gap between scientific information and public information about drugs is growing hour by hour," declare the authors of this thorough, popular guide to pharmaceutical and recreational chemicals. The public's misinformation, they say, is only compounded by the fact that most descriptions of drugs' benefits and risks are oversimplified, inaccurate and politicized. Marijuana, for example, is portrayed by some organizations as a wonder drug, and by others as a dangerous contagion. The authors' guide aims to avoid such pitfalls. Divided into a dozen sections-Alcohol, Caffeine, Ecstasy, Hallucinogens, Herbal Drugs, Inhalants, Marijuana, Nicotine, Opiates, Sedatives, Steroids, and Stimulants-the book adopts a straight, neutral tone that reflects its commitment to providing unbiased, scientific fact. As professors at the Duke University Medical Center, Khun, Swartzwelder and Wilson are well-qualified to analyze and synthesize lots of complicated information, and this second edition of the guide has been fully revised to reflect scientists' growing knowledge of how chemicals of all kinds affect our health and development. Best of all, the descriptions are jargon-free, making this book a great choice for anyone looking for clear, reliable information about any kind of drug. 8 pages color illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
There is no talking down or trying to be hip in this guide to recreational drugs. The title is the slangiest thing about it, until the glossary of street language at its end, and a reader needs to feel comfortable with the polysyllabics of pharmacology, though the diction is otherwise common, not technical. The long first part consists of chapters on each of 12 kinds of drug: alcohol, caffeine, enactogens, hallucinogens, herbal drugs, inhalants, marijuana, nicotine, opiates, sedatives, steroids, and stimulants. Each chapter initially lists individual drugs of the kind and their common names and briefly describes the drug's "buzz," immediate hazards (overdose, etc.), and dangerous interactions with other substances; discursive text on the drug's history, effects, and other topics, such as, when pertinent, addiction, fill out the chapter. The book's second part contains chapters on the working of the brain, drugs in general, addiction in general, and legal issues. A sound, thorough, authoritative resource that, though aimed primarily at college students, will be a solid asset in every public library. Ray Olson
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