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From The CriticsReviewer: Karin Taylor, MS, RN, CS (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This manual examines management issues dealing with substance abuse and the effect of substances on special populations, such as African Americans and women. This is a second edition, with the first published in 1991.
Purpose: It is written to assist the clinician in primary care settings become more comfortable and skilled in handling and facilitating management of patients with substance abuse problems. The focus is on alcohol, because most abusers use more than one substance, with alcohol the common denominator. The manual meets the objectives and is easy and interesting to read.
Audience: What I enjoyed was the multidisciplinary approach. As a reader, the experience of contributors from various disciplines really underscored the universality of substance abuse.
Features: Besides the chapters dealing with management, there are 13 chapters on special populations featuring distinct age, cultural, race, or socioeconomic groups. There are further readings in the back of each chapter, which I found to be interesting, because they all had an informative description of the article or book. The references are also helpful because they are extensive and use original sources. The appendixes are extensive as well, with many references for those who would want further education or training in substance abuse. There are no illustrations, but most chapters use tables or boxes to help delineate the information.
Assessment: I would recommend the manual. It is a good basic reference, and I liked the division of special populations. What I would have liked added to the content are chapters that deal with the special problems of opiate and cocaine users. The new edition offers the addition of three more specific populations, has the more detailed table of contents and different appendixes, and uses the new DSM-IV.