Seeburger presents a comprehensive view of the problem of addictions, pointing out commonalities in their roots, causation, consequences, and prognoses. An accomplished writer, he illustrates his points with familiar examples, simultaneously pointing out the futility of the less comprehensive, more traditional, perspectives. The reader expecting concrete suggestions for prevention and treatment will be disappointed; what this work offers is a broad philosophical stance applicable on both individual and societal levels. He rightly leaves to the reader the task of adapting his perspective to concrete situations, settings, and populations. This book will appeal to readers of varying backgrounds and expertise: the individual struggling with addiction may gain insight from the author's message, while the substance-abuse professional will gain a broader understanding of the problem of addictive behavior. The philosopher will enjoy a lovely example of philosophical application. Although occasionally repetitive, Seeburger's message is important and his relaxed writing style overcomes that minor flaw. For comprehensive collections on addictions. General; advanced undergraduate through professional.
Aimed at a general audience, this handy yet comprehensive reference by Padwa (independent scholar) and Cunningham (history, Hebrew Union College) is divided into three major sections. The first comprises reference essays providing a scientific and historical overview of specific addictions (e.g., gambling, shopping, Internet, food) with a significant focus on substance abuse, including psychoactive substances. The second section, the largest part of the book, features 127 alphabetical entries on major individuals, concepts, laws, organizations, events, and developments in the study of addictions in the US, with concise yet thorough information on topics like Alcoholics Anonymous, Anti-drug Abuse Acts, the Betty Ford Center, China and the Chinese (outlining China's influence on US drug policy), the League of Nations, Marihuana Commission, National Council on Problem Gaming, and Mothers against Drunk Driving. The final section comprises 18 primary source documents exploring some key developments in the history of addiction from the 19th century to the present. Extensive bibliographies at the end of essays, and a final section with "further reading" suggestions, enhance the book's value for those wishing to explore the topics further. Unlike Encyclopedia of Addictions by Kathryn Hollen (CH, Jul'09, 46-5946), this book doesn't have any graphics, statistics, or fact boxes. However, Hollen's encyclopedia is a costlier, two-volume alternative. In this new work the lucid language makes even legal entries easy to comprehend, thereby assisting those addicts who are looking to help themselves as well as those supporters helping friends or relatives overcome their addiction problems. Overall, this book achieves what it sets out to, serving as a handy, go-to reference work. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
Managing to straddle the traditionally distinct fields of biochemistry and social policy, Goldstein has produced a comprehensive and coherent treatise on addiction as a personal and social problem. He begins with the basics, describing the techniques used to determine how drugs produce their effects at the cellular level; for the reader with no background in biochemistry, this section will be difficult. Complete understanding, however, is not critical to continuing to the next section, which deals with the particular effects of individual drugs; in those chapters, he makes the specific effects of drugs real by creating analogies that are likely to fall within the realm of reader experience. In the last section, devoted to the societal perspective, Goldstein uses biochemical knowledge to examine the logic of current drug policy. The book culminates with a series of inescapably logical recommendations for future policy. Goldstein's writing style makes for easy reading, and the figures and tables contribute to the reader's understanding. A nice, tidy work that belongs in the library of any college that serves health professionals; it will also be useful to readers interested in law, public policy, and social science. Upper-division undergraduate through professional. This review refers to an earlier edition.
The Addicted Brain is an extremely readable introduction to issues and concerns related to drug addiction. Kuhar (Emory Univ.) is a respected researcher and scholar with a strong pedigree in pharmacology and neuroscience who has distilled his knowledge into a format that should be well received by anyone seeking to understand substance abuse disorders. The first chapter provides an overview of the book's content and why it is important. The next 12 chapters cover animal research implications for human behavior, neurophysiology and psychopharmacology, and issues related to stress, social status, gambling, sex, food, gender, and adolescence. Chapter 13 discusses what is currently known about the treatment and prevention of addiction. In the final chapter, "What Does the Future Hold?," Kuhar provides a broad outline of what needs to occur in society to counter the problems and issues related to dealing with addiction. This work is suitable for undergraduates in a variety of health-related disciplines, including psychology and social work. It can serve as either a primary or an ancillary text. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and general readers.
Sociologist Parker (Univ. of California, Riverside) and PhD student McCaffree join with coauthors on many chapters in this research monograph to explore the harm caused by, and environmental prevention strategies for, alcohol--the "most important" drug for involvement with assault and homicide. Part 1 examines the nature of the relationship between alcohol and violent victimization; violence among Mexican American youth; sexually explicit alcohol advertising aimed at Latinos; adolescent mental health; and cross-national contexts. Part 2 examines prevention through the framework of environmental prevention, which means restricting access to alcohol (changing people's attitudes about alcohol is secondary, at best). With mixed success, the authors disavow a "neo-Prohibitionist" label while reporting on the effects of raising the drinking age, banning alcohol in Barrow, Alaska, decreasing alcohol outlet density, and responsible beverage service (bartenders monitoring customer consumption). Chapters generally resemble journal article format, with contemporary literature reviews setting up model specification and analysis of 1990s data in detailed tables, followed by discussion. Contextualization of issues is good, literature reviews are impressive, and discussion is helpful (even for those having different viewpoints). Conclusions highlight the problems of alcohol while being nuanced, qualified, and sometimes surprisingly narrow. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty.
Brown and Lewis, both competent clinical researchers, offer a well-written and understandable work. It presents a framework for describing, comprehending, and treating families with an alcoholic member. The material has a limited focus on the two-parent nuclear family but does not deny the existence of alternative family constellations. The philosophy of diagnosis, process, and treatment is strongly biased toward a 12-step approach, since the most successful result for those seeking treatment has come from AA and similar programs. However, the authors fail to recognize that most "alcoholics" who abstain do so without benefit of any formal program. This is a very useful book for clinicians seeking to structure family work and those searching for a helpful practice foundation. Many therapists will find the model of family recovery to be particularly valuable. The bibliography is excellent and the material soundly referenced. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Outstanding Academic Title
This is an autobiography, which reads like a novel; the author is both an anthropologist and novelist. A member of the Modoc tribe, Dorris relates his experiences as the parent of an adopted child from the Sioux tribe. The focus of the work is on life with this child, who is a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol effect (FAE). The work is also a biography of the child; the final chapter written by the child, now grown, illustrates the writing and thinking of the child. Also included is the involvement of Dorris's wife, Louise Erdrich, novelist and poet, who is of Chippewa and German background. The social, psychological, and political ramifications of working to abolish FAS and FAE and of caring for the victims of this phenomenon are clearly depicted from the perspectives of the parents as well as the child. This work could be a vibrant contribution to the study of anthropology and the health fields; it is most important to students of the political and social sciences, and it is recommended reading for all who participate in social/political decision making. FAS and FAE are well researched, and a relevant bibliography is included. For all readers and learners.
The Clinic and Elsewhere provides a rich investigation over the course of nearly three years into the lives of 12 adolescents (and the deaths of 2). Meyers (medical anthropology, Wayne State Univ.) chronicles the successes and failures of these heroin users/addicts as they struggled with their attempts at recovery. Unlike the more commonly encountered statistics of drug use and abuse found in other books, the author's ethnographic approach provides a very real sense of the subjects' lives, their experiences, and their definitions of success and failure. Meyers's research raises a number of issues regarding Suboxone and related substitute medication programs. The book should provide a valuable counterpoint to what is presented in traditional introductory courses on substance abuse. It could be integrated into related courses at various levels, and will be useful for both general and specialist audiences. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers.
Outstanding Academic Title
In a fascinating and compelling narrative, DeGrandpre (independent scholar) details various factors that have influenced and changed the perception and use of drugs in America. With multiple examples, he assesses pharmaceutical advertising, actions of the FDA and of the American Medical Association, governmental intervention, articles in the popular media, and social and psychological factors, all of which affect the way a drug is used as much as the pharmacological activity of the drug itself. These factors have led to the creation of a "myth" about many, primarily psychoactive, drugs--some that are labeled medicines (used by patients) and others (with almost identical pharmacological properties) that are labeled drugs (used by drug addicts). Science is overlooked in many cases, inconsistencies persist, politics reign, and millions are spent on a war on drugs. The everyday reality of drugs has been transformed into a drug culture. The author has credentials and has written about drugs before (Ritalin Nation, CH, Jul'99, 36-6312); his global insights are noteworthy. The beauty of this work is that it leaves readers to weigh the evidence presented and draw their own conclusions. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.
This one-volume reference book offers 200 entries of various lengths covering illegal and legal drugs along with related topics, e.g., countries that supply illegal drugs, drug diversion, and pain management. Entries vary in length from a paragraph to a few pages; most are about one page long with a few references. Although no single-volume encyclopedia, no matter the subject, can contain everything, this book does a good job overall. Nevertheless this reviewer was surprised that the authors did not include the psychoactive herb Salvia divinorum, the focus of much media attention. A significant amount of this encyclopedia's content is available in other sources including the authors' The Encyclopedia of Addictions and Addictive Behaviors (CH, Apr'06, 43-4387). The most useful sections in this new work are an introduction on the history of drug abuse and ten appendixes that feature hard-to-find statistics and a table of scheduled drugs. Although graduate and upper-level students will need more in-depth information, this work could be useful to beginning students who need brief, concise material on the subject. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates, two-year technical program students, and general readers.
This volume by professional writer Cassell and faculty member Sanoski (pharmacy practice, Thomas Jefferson Univ.) features some good information, but its audience is difficult to ascertain. It is not the best place to look for specific information on individual drugs; however, it may help readers interested in the history of drugs and the pharmaceutical industry to understand some of the current issues about drug use or to gain a basic understanding of how groups of drugs achieve their therapeutic effects. The best part of the book is the lengthy, difficult-to-use introduction--90 pages, paginated with Roman numerals, and featuring no table of contents or logical arrangement. Also included are sections on the history of drugs, a very detailed chronology of drug regulation in the US, and a discussion of the expanded role of the pharmacist. The concepts of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics are explained clearly. The A-Z listing of major drug therapeutic groups in the book's second part is less useful. Consumers usually want information on individual drugs, which they will not find here. Students generally need textbooks that provide more detailed information. All of the information in the appendixes can easily be found online. Summing Up: Recommended. Comprehensive pharmacy collections only; lower-level undergraduates and general readers.
Coombs adds a worthy title to the literature on treating addictive disorders, especially for new practitioners to this field. Gathering the work of many experts in addiction treatment, he offers 16 essays that cover the field most comprehensively. The volume covers established addictions--chemical dependency, compulsive gambling, sex addiction, eating disorders, workaholism, and compulsive shopping; an overview looks at addiction policy and prevention. Chemical dependency assumes a dominant position, and rightly so, with about 25 percent of the book devoted to it. Accessible throughout, this volume demonstrates that few magic-bullet treatments exist. Those familiar with the literature on this subject will find little new here, but those newer to the field will find this a valuable resource. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, professionals.
Murphy (sociology, California State Univ., Sacramento) offers an important and illuminating analysis of the paradoxes and inconsistencies riddling the drug treatment field today. Utilizing qualitative methods, the author studied several sites, in an unnamed city, including two outpatient drug treatment centers and a drug court. Deftly summarizing the literature on drug addiction treatment and penology, Murphy lays bare the many inconsistencies in the field: e.g., willingness to conceptualize drug addiction as a disease but reluctance to offer medications to afflicted individuals, instead insisting that therapies include abstinence. She maintains that punitive attitudes toward addicts emanate from the public's condemnation of addicts as morally inferior and deserving of punishment. This casts a dark shadow over treatment, uniting punishment and treatment in treatment facilities and the courts—a methodology that may impede recovery processes. Murphy offers a creditworthy history of addiction-care institutions, cautiously applying her own research findings. Those wishing to better understand the shortcomings of modern American drug rehabilitation practices will find much value in this thoughtful work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
Szasz (Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Syracuse) holds numerous awards and has written many stimulating books on mental illness. With this book he challenges US society to take a fresh look at its drug problem and the way in which its government is responding to the misuse of drugs by some of its citizens. Szasz describes how the current debate on drugs is based on a collective ignorance of the facts and issues and on inability to learn from history. He then goes on to cover issues such as the rights citizens rejected; liberty versus utopia; drugs as scapegoats; the cult of drug disinformation; the lie of legalization; perils of prohibition; and the burden of choice. Szasz makes a persuasive case for a reevaluation of US drug policy within the context of liberty and human responsibility in a democratic society. This book is well written, the arguments are clear and concise, and the logic effective. However, Szasz does not discuss some of the new insights science is providing on the nature of addiction and the effect some drugs have on the physiology of demand. These new insights suggests new challenges as well as opportunities for dealing with the misuse of drugs. Excellent notes section and a very useful bibliography. Must read for anyone seriously interested in drugs and how US society is managing them. All libraries.
Freye (Heinrich-Heine-Univ., Düsseldorf, Germany) and Levy (Univ. of the Pacific) have accomplished their goal of presenting a comprehensive review of the pharmacology and abuse of several addictive drugs. As suggested by the title, the book is organized into four parts, based on particular drugs and their derivatives. In discussing these drugs, each part addresses history, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, effects of using the drug (both acute and chronic), and treatment considerations. A fifth section discusses drug-use detection technology, with information on signs and symptoms of drug use, urine testing, and the testing of saliva, hair, and sweat for drugs. Each of the five parts is accompanied by its own reference section to facilitate acquisition of relevant materials. This very readable treatise is replete with figures, diagrams, and pictures that enhance the subject. It will be a useful addition to both general and specialized libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general audience.
Stephens has studied heroin addiction for 20 years, and his insight illuminates every page of this excellent book. Using the sociological perspective of symbolic interactionism and employing ethnographic methods, Stephens takes the reader into the world of the heroin addict. He demonstrates that heroin addiction is not itself the root of the problem, but is rather only a facet of the individual's commitment to one of the few well-defined and accessible roles for those most at risk, i.e., young, male, urban members of minority groups. In fact, individuals are not addicted to heroin so much as they are to the seductively exciting identity and lifestyle of the "cool cat." Stephens describes the stages in the career of the street addict, and he provides a sensitive portrait of the historical origins of the street-addict role. His thoroughly documented analysis is a devastating critique of individualistic theories of narcotic addiction and the treatment efforts derived from such theories. This book should be read by scholars as well as practitioners. It belongs in every academic and public library.
This work is a must read for any professional who wants to treat or support the treatment of patients who struggle with addictions. The research-based, comprehensive handbook offers practical guidance to understand, identify, assess, and treat addictions. Miller and Forcehimes (both, Univ. of New Mexico) and Zweben (Columbia Univ.) build a strong argument regarding why professionals need to address addictions, citing data on their pervasiveness and impact, and noting that many professionals already understand the fundamentals underlying their treatment. By conceptualizing addictions as similar to other chronic health conditions, the authors reduce stigma, encourage compassion, demystify the behavioral change process, and promote hope. According to the diagnostic framework provided, addictions are multidimensional, falling along a continuum of severity and requiring individualized treatment. Moving beyond the foundations, extensive research is translated into specific, highly useful treatment methods. The book includes psychometrically sound measures, available in the public domain, for practitioners to screen, assess, and guide treatment, and monitor progress. Throughout the text, the authors clarify concepts, demonstrate clinical application through case studies, recommend additional resources, and ask reflective questions to encourage analysis. To date, this is the best resource applying current theory and research to relevant, useful, and accessible clinical practice. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.