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Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used & Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy Paperback – February, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (February 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393317323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393317329
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,067,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In a time where literature on illegal substance is usually limited to propaganda either for or against drugs, their legalization, etc.., this book provides a refreshing, unbiased account. The knowledge it provides on a drug's different effects on the body, the brain, one's emotional well-being, and its addictive potential prove to be invaluable. This is not a crusade against the use of substances, but it does not seek to glorify their use. Anyone planning on experimenting with any drug should at least read this book first. It allows an individual to weigh the risks from a more educated point of view as it dispels myths and delivers what it says it will: the straight facts.
I would urge everyone involved in this area from policy makers to other students to buy this book and read it. I finished it in two days, and I'm a better-informed, more careful thinker because of it.
Don't go to a party without it.
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Format: Paperback
As a college professor at Delgado in New Orleans, La., I found the book to be very informative and fact based for anyone interested in substance abuse and/or addictions. I am using this book as a text for a class entitled "Introduction to Substance Abuse". The authors are clear, concise and discuss various drugs (including alcohol) at differing levels of use. This is an excellent text book for those preparing to enter the prevention and treatment fields. If you are expecting to read that "all drugs are bad", and other typical statements, this book will not appease you. It has value for the professional interested in the field as well as the parent who may simply wish to be better informed on the current trends in the world of drugs and alcohol. Warren J. Perret,BSCW/BCSAC
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I am a health care professional who just started working with patients in a hospital detox setting. This book was exactly what I was looking for as a review and primer on the effects different drugs had on the brain and body. The book is in two parts. Part one is basically a quick reference to the different classes of addictive substances, how they affect the brain, how the body disposes of them, the type of withdrawl someone will experience, etc. Part two covers some basics of neuropharmacology which you will need to understand some of the technical info in part one, and also goes into things as varied as the addictive process and social and legal issues involved with drug use. There is a good bibliography and a great index with many of the common street names for a variety of drugs and drug related activities.
I would highly reccommend this to anyone in health care, education, or any type of drug counseling or rehab. Great tool for patient/client/student education about drugs that is factual and easy to understand.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book as a casual user of marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine. This book has made me come to the realization that I will never use another illegal drug other than marijuana. I never knew the drugs that my classmates were using so carelessly were so destructive. What I like most about the book is the fact that the information is completely unbiased, and is just focused on giving you the straight facts. Information that you get from other, unreliable sources, such as Internet web sites, is so completely biased towards telling you how horrible drugs are, you begin to pick up that you are not being given the whole truth but rather what anti-drug people want you to believe. "Buzzed" gave me more incentive to never do hard drugs than those "unreliable" sources would ever have, even with their terrible drug horror stories. People are smart....just give them the information they need about something, and they will decide their actions from there. I reccomend this book to anyone taking any drugs (including marijuana, alcohol, or nicotine), or anyone considering taking a potentially dangerous recreational drug.
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Format: Paperback
Some folks reviewing this book don't seem to understand the purpose for which the book was intended: This is a general consumer book with "straight facts" from Ph.D.s in pharmacology and chemistry on "the most used and abused drugs." This isn't intended to be comprehensive. It it certainly isn't about grandstanding as some tool in the "war on drugs." The motto in this book is "Just say Know."

The authors candidly observe, for example, that it's practically impossible to overdose on marijuana. There's no "Reefer Madness" in this text. And alcohol, caffeine and nicotine certainly qualify as abused drugs in this day and age. The substances that are covered include those above and Ecstasy (MDMA), various hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, peyote, etc.), so-called "herbal drugs", various inhalants (nitrous oxide and psychotoxics), marijuana, opiates, sedatives in general and stimulants in general. The chapters on "Drug Basics," "Brain Basics" and "Legal Issues" were straightforward and concise.

I work principally in law enforcement and use this book along with the Drug Identification Bible as resource literature in helping local kids with presentations. One of the authors, Dr. Wilkie Wilson, has been a TV Dateline expert and wonderful spokesperson for being informed about the risks of drug use.
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