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From The CriticsReviewer: Nancy Schell, MD (Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center)
Description: This is a concise, easily readable guide to actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide accurate and timely information in clear language as free as possible from technical jargon so that readers may understand it with minimal background in the biological sciences.
Audience: The book is written for anyone interested in drug use, abuse, and education. The author is an anesthesiologist with a PhD, although it is unclear what the PhD is in.
Features: This book covers general principles of each class of psychoactive drugs and specific information about each drug within that class. It looks at mechanisms of action, theories about etiologies of major psychological disorders and rationale for drug treatment, and uses and limitations of psychopharmacology. It also includes basic explanations of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Drugs of compulsive use are emphasized. Each of the 20 chapters examines current and future directions in drug research (including drugs not yet available for clinical use). An interesting new chapter on herbal medications has been added. A brief glossary is included. This is a bold attempt to capture the explosion of knowledge about psychoactive substances. Although the book updated and rewritten, as in any area of science, some information may be changed by the time of publication and distribution.
Assessment: This is a good, comprehensive review that has organized and presented a massive amount of often disparate information into a comprehensible, easy to use book.