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From The CriticsReviewer: Isaac Kleinman, MD (Baylor College of Medicine)
Description: This manual is divided into five sections covering assessment and diagnosis of intoxications and withdrawal in addictive disorders, such as alcohol and cocaine; pharmacological treatment of intoxication and withdrawal; medical, surgical, psychiatric treatment in specific populations; treatment principles and practices and treatment efficacy; and special topics, such as managed care, forensics, etc.
Purpose: It is intended to assist the clinician with the diagnosis and treatment of addictive disorders.
Audience: Generalists and specialists dealing with addiction problems are the intended audience.
Features: In a handbook format (albeit 352 tightly printed pages) the editors have presented a world of information on this subject in lean but thorough and accessible form. In addition to the general text, there are useful tables on drug conversion, substitution schedules, side effects, laboratory diagnostic criteria, and drug interactions. There are good chapters on addiction in pregnancy, cultural and racial considerations in addiction and recovery programs, as well as gambling, eating, and sexual addictions. The print and paper quality are excellent, and the narrow spiral bound format is ideal for the house officer, but the print is somewhat smaller than a presbyope would like.
Assessment: While this text is very complete, it is not a compendium of knowledge. In certain chapters, like the one on biochemistry of addiction, there is much less information than one would acquire from one of the larger texts. However, for the interested reader there are excellent up-to-date references for each chapter. Although there are other handbooks on addiction problems, this one is my strong preference. Addiction problems now impact every area of medical practice so that now it is unsafe to assume the absence of addiction dependence with any patient. Generalists and psychiatrists, as well as obstetricians, surgeons, geriatricians, and especially pediatricians need to evaluate their patients in this area to be able to understand appropriate and safe management. A text such as this will be useful both in the practitioner's library and house officer's pocket.