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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Regina Rosa Lopez, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is a review of the subjective effects of drugs, the theories behind these effects, and their possible treatment implications. Included is the relevant research in this area.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the reader with a clear sense of the theories and techniques behind the investigations of intoxication and how subjective experiences relate to addictive potential. Interestingly, the book should "help people make educated decisions about drug use" according to the preface. Another objective is to help researchers identify ideal ways to assess a drug's subjective experience. The objectives are worthy, although, I am not sure what is meant by helping people make educated decisions about drug use.
Audience: According to the author, the intended audience is clinicians and researchers. I think the book is elementary for this audience in its treatment of neuropharmacology. The book would probably be manageable for educated people outside of the field.
Features: The book covers the subjective effects of alcohol and illicit and prescription drugs. It details the biological, social, and psychological factors contributing to these effects. In addition, individual differences in the subjective effects are reviewed.
Assessment: The studies are the best feature of the book, because they are not only relevant but interesting to read. The shortcoming is that the biological theories are not adequately covered. The book is interesting, offering new perspectives on drug addiction. With the exception of the biological theories, I found the other theories to be informative.