Children's Literature - Wendy M. Smith-D'ArezzoAddiction can be either a physical or psychological dependence upon a substance or an activity. In many cases the dependence is both physical and psychological. After giving a brief history of addiction and addictive substances, Thakkar moves through several chapters devoted to individual addictive substances, delineating the biochemical workings of each drug, the ways the drug can be used, the dangers of the drug use, and possible ways the addiction can be counteracted. He also includes a chapter on addiction to gambling, eating, and sexual activity. Several chapters include short case studies and give a personal glimpse into the life of an addict, how the addiction started, and the devastating affects the addiction has had on the life of the young person being portrayed. The chapters are peppered with photographs and diagrams closely illustrating the content. Most of the photographs depict young men and women of western European descent; perhaps more care could have been taken to have more racially diverse representations. Part of a series on psychological disorders published by Chelsea House Publishers, this would be a good resource for young people in middle or high school. Although the book's aim is to present the very real dangers of substance use, abuse, and addiction, care is taken to present the facts without a moralizing tone.
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