Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy / Edition 2

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Drug addiction is a brain disease—that's the modern view and it is fully expressed in this up-to-date book. Among the many volumes on drugs written for lay readers, this one is unique in the breadth of its coverage and the depth of its science. The first part gives a clear scientific account of the nature of addiction, stressing neurobiology and addictive behavior and describing the "highs" that drugs can produce. The second section covers the seven families of addictive drugs, with emphasis on their actions in the brain and on psychological aspects: nicotine, alcohol, heroin and other opiates, cocaine and amphetamines, marijuana, caffeine, and hallucinogens like LSD. The third section deals with laws and drug control policies. Throughout, the author gives many interesting personal accounts of addiction research, to which he has highlighted new research on the genetics and neurobiology of susceptibility to addiction.

Divided into addictive drugs & brain/drugs & addicts/drugs & society; emphasizes disease aspect of addiction w/treatment.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nishad J. Nadkarni, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book attempts to integrate current neurobiological thinking about substance abuse and dependence with a rational attempt to determine drug policy on a societal level.
Purpose: The field of addictionology is rife with subjective opinion and "soft" data, which often is the traditional basis for formulating costly interventions for drug addiction. The stated purpose of this book is to objectify these data and present a more scientific approach to the problem.
Audience: The author feels this book is written at a level appropriate for mental health practitioners, both medically and nonmedically trained, who deal with addicts on a regular basis. However, a significant level of oversimplification makes it unlikely that this target audience will be reached adequately.
Features: As a second edition, this work is supported by current references although they are somewhat general in nature and scanty in quantity. A number of line drawings and schematic diagrams are useful in clarifying difficult concepts of neurotransmission. Overall, a somewhat "splashy" and sensationalistic appearance, both visually and in terms of writing style, detracts from the potential seriousness of the subject matter.
Assessment: Unfortunately, this book generally falls significantly short of its stated objectives. Specifically, overinclusion of impressionistic and biased opinion on the part of the author does not lend credence to the goal of rational policy making. Equally problematic is the oversimplification of the scientific data on neurobiology that is presented in the first two sections of the book. Several other writings in this field are much less biased and offer a more clear presentation of fact.
From the Publisher
"A refreshingly straightforward and scientifically rigorous consideration of a wide range of information."—Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Cell

"Goldstein directs this readable small volume toward 'intelligent non-experts.'.... [He] goes to great lengths to show how each class of drugs produces its own form of addiction and why humans will go to such great effort to take them."—Floyd Bloom, M.D., Issues in Science and Technology

"It is written in a lively manner, is admirably logical and systematic, and is peppered with interesting quotations and clinical vignettes.... Deserves to be widely read."—Steven E. Hyman, M.D.

"This book is for everyone. Clinicians, experimental psychologists, and the ubiquitous intelligent layperson will all enjoy and learn from this book."—Contemporary Psychology

"An essential tool to understand the biology of addiction as well as the history, politics, and sociology of the issue. Dr. Goldstein brings to the policy debate a powerful scientific perspective based on decades of research backed by common sense."—General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), former Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy

2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195146646
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,506,037
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Avram Goldstein, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, Stanford University. He is the author of Principles of Drug Action, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the recipient of many awards including the Franklin Medal, the Nathan B. Eddy Award, and the Sollman Award.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Neurotransmitters: The Brain's Own Drugs
3. Receptors: Locks for the Addictive Keys
4. Addictive Behavior
5. Pain and Pleasure
6. The Seesaw Brain: "Highs" and Adaptations
7. Are Addicts Born or Made?
8. Nicotine
9. Alcohol and Related Drugs
10. Heroin, Morphine, and Other Opiates
11. Cocaine and Amphetamines
12. Cannabis (Marijuana)
13. Caffeine
14. Hallucinogens
15. Prevention: Just Say No?
16. Treatment Addiction, Preventing Relapse
17. Three Lessons from the Street
18. Three Lessons from Abroad
19. Prohibition vs. Legalization- A False Dichotomy
20. New Strategies for Rational Drug Policy

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