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From The CriticsValium and Other Downers is an introduction into the class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants. The introduction and foreword are brief summaries of the dangers of illicit drug use and offer encouragement to stay away from illegal drugs, tobacco products, and alcohol. The body of the text begins with a concise history of the depressants (especially the barbiturates), including their legitimate and beneficial uses. The case is made that the CNS depressants are valuable when used correctly, but can be deadly when misused, especially combined with other depressants, such as alcohol. A basic discussion of how the drugs work is presented and is easy to understand, provided that the reader has had some introduction to the CNS.
The artwork is colorful and well presented, except that the pictures on page 25 are not of Valium( and Librium(, as indicated in the legend. The photos tie in nicely to the material being presented. A brief glossary of related terms is included, as is a bibliography. In addition, names, addresses, and Web sites are listed for additional information. In sum, this series is informative, is easy to read, and should be in the libraries of junior high and high schools that are trying to educate their students about drugs and drug use. (from the Junior Drug Awareness Series.) Recommended, Grades 7-12. REVIEWER: Dr. Loyd V. Allen, Jr. (International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding)