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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel Loiterstein, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book on the treatment of alcohol dependence has been periodically updated since the first edition was published in 1978. Through the years unique elements, such as a CD- ROM, have been included.
Purpose: The intended purpose is to bring together the basic information that an alcohol treatment counselor or other professional would need to know in order to treat patients with problems related to alcohol. The authors clearly state that the purpose of the book is not to present original work, but to make a useful guide that incorporates many disciplines into one source. The field of alcohol and substance abuse treatment traverses many areas of study. This book successfully incorporates many ideas into one handbook. As the authors acknowledge in the preface, this is not a comprehensive book, "It is a starting point."
Audience: This book is targeted at alcohol counselors and other professionals involved with patients with alcohol related problems. The authors meet their goal in providing a practical handbook that can be used by a myriad of professionals. The primary author and the contributing authors have been at the forefront of alcohol treatment for decades.
Features: The handbook provides a complete overview of alcohol. This includes views from multiple disciplines including medicine, psychiatry, sociology, history, and psychology. In the margins are quotes and humorous cartoons that the authors use to lighten the mood. This is done appropriately and with good taste. The CD-ROM is a practical resource that helps the user to link to the World Wide Web and expand beyond the book. At the end of each chapter is a list of resources and further reading that includes descriptions.
Assessment: This unique guide to alcohol not only provides information, but also guides the reader through the overabundance of available resources to just the right one. It is appropriately updated and makes particular use of the Internet-based resources.