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VOYAThis book provides in-depth, comprehensive discussions of the effects of most recreationally used and abused substances, including alcohol, caffeine, hallucinogens, sedatives, steroids, and inhalants. Each chapter covers a different drug or category of drugs and provides a social and legal history of the drug's usage, descriptions of the effects on the brain and body, risks, side effects, and myths. The descriptions can be quite technical, especially in the sections describing the physical effects, but the organization of the information lends itself to school assignments. The authors' philosophy is that a fully informed person can make intelligent judgments about drug usage. They provide a fair and balanced view that for the most part neither says "no" nor "yes," but rather "here are the facts, you decide." Dangers are clearly pointed out. For example, in the most strongly worded warning in the book, the authors state about the use of inhalants such as benzene, methanol, and chloroform, "We take the position that these compounds are so toxic to both the first-time user and the long-term user that they should never be used under any circumstance." It is interesting to note that socially accepted drugs such as nicotine and caffeine are treated in the same manner as ecstasy and cocaine. The straightforward and frank style of this book will appeal to good readers and to teens who are curious about mind-altering drugs and want to know the facts. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, W. W. Norton, 320p.; Glossary. Index.Illus. Biblio. Further Reading., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.