Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Society
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on February 20, 2012
I am an undergraduate reading this text for my "Drugs and Behavior" course. I don't usually write reviews, but this particular text struck a chord in me.

At some points the text does a good job of giving a basic overview of the effects of drugs on the body, but the perspective throughout is skewed: The historiography of drugs that he constructs is decidedly biased, while the physiological and psychological effects of the drugs listed are selective.

Take the section on MDMA, for instance,

"The physical health concerns with respect to Ecstasy center on its short-term and long-term toxicity. Acute effects [are] severe hypothermia...dehydration...and long term cognitive impairments and emotional difficulties. Heavy and prolonged Ecstasy use can produce confusion, anxiety, sleep problems, reductions in impulse control, and declines in memory and attention"

Mysteriously absent are the well-documented subjective effects on the mind of euphoria, DECREASED anxiety, increased sense of well-being and empathy. Actually, to the author's credit he did mention something about MDMA being explored in the 1980s as a therapeutic drug but concluded by saying that:

"Eventually, after several years of hesitations and reversals, the Drug Enforcement Administration put MDMA permanently on the Schedule I list of controlled substances, indicating that there is no accepted medical application for the drug"

And then he simply ends it there mentioning nothing further of the debate or putting one of those "Drugs...in focus" background/anecdotal boxes on the proceeding page that he is so fond of. That section is just one example representing a theme of the whole story not being presented about many drugs and multiple views on established scientific debates about the effects of drugs being absent. Thus, I have been left with a feeling that it is not a particularly academic book, which is confusing because it seems to be marketed toward undergraduate courses.

Other sections were simply bizarre, like "hexing drugs and witchcraft" [referencing the anticholiergic hallucinogenic drug "atropine" derived from the Atropa belladonna plant): "Witches were reputed to have prepared these mixtures as ointments and rubbed them on their bodies and on broomsticks, which they straddled. The chemicals would have been easily absorbed through the skin and the membranes of the vagina. The Halloween image of a witch flying on a broomstick has been with us ever since". Reputed by whom? No source listed. I have been left to conclude that the author simply made it up.

The general tone of the text to me seemed to convey the message that "this is the way drugs are and this is the way they function on your body, and they are generally a scourge upon society" While, I have often found myself wishing it was more: "Actually, drugs and their history of interaction with the human race is extremely complex, and for as much as we have learned about them so far, there is still much to learn and as a result there is still a lot of scientific and political debate about their form and function" Anyway, those are just my two cents.
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I use this text in my undergraduate course 'Drugs and HumanBehavior' at USC. The students like it. The pictures are great. Everything's explained in clear language. The references are up to date, chapters are well organized, and the reviews are comprehensive.
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on October 12, 2011
I actually needed the 7th Edition for my class but I got the 6th Edition and found it to be exactly like the 7th edition only cheaper. I would totally recommend this book, goes into enough detail about different drugs and everything else that you learn without feeling overwhelmed like you would by reading a normal textbook.
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on March 24, 2014
Wasn't the biggest fan of this class. We didn't really use the book so I feel it was a waste of money.
I rented it but ended up having to pay for it since it was stolen. To me a waste of money since it wasn't utilized.

The shipping was fast. It was in good condition. Love amazon prime!
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on July 28, 2013
This is a great text for beginning to learn about different substance uses. It gives good information and is up-to-date on information of new drugs in society. One area that it may lack is not enough information on treatment methods for substance abuse. More information on the type of treatments for substance abuse and addiction would compliment this book well!
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on March 11, 2014
I got this book for my undergrad degree. When I first started college, I purchased all my books which got very expensive. I then began renting my texts through the school and other websites. This semester I decided to check Amazon's rental program. I'm soooo glad I did because the prices can't be beat! The text came super fast, unlike the school bookstore which usually sells out of the rentals fairly quick and other sites who inform you the book is backordered after your class starts and after you were already expecting to receive the text, leaving you in a real bind. Amazon had the book to me in a matter of a few days and at a great price. I'm also enjoying the text itself. I find it to be very informative and easy to read. I often get bored with long readings in my classes but this text has really held my interest and I'm eager to move on to read the next chapter. I will definitely be renting all my texts from Amazon hereafter!
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on February 21, 2011
Great textbook! Very easy to read and understand. Very well written and informative. Includes lots of information on other helpful and interesting resources. Most helpful textbook I've had in a while.
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on February 21, 2013
I chose this rating because I am highly satisfied with the shipment the price was awesome and the book came in great condition.

Its my first time ordering from amazon and im so pleased,.Thank you!
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on June 22, 2011
The individual selling this product put the status as very good/like new it had water damage. I don't really care about the fact that it has water damage! However; don't lie about your product and advertise your product for something it isn't!!
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on February 8, 2012
This is a great book! I am definitely using it in my Drugs and Human Behavior class. There is a lot of highlighting in the book that I got, but it really doesn't bother me all that much.
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