Illegal Drugs

Illegal Drugs

by Paul Gahlinger
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Illegal Drugs by Paul Gahlinger

Does Ecstasy cause brain damage? Why is crack more addictive than cocaine? What questions regarding drugs are legal to ask in a job interview? When does marijuana possession carry a greater prison sentence than murder?

Illegal Drugs is the first comprehensive reference to offer timely, pertinent information on every drug currently prohibited by law in the United States.  It includes their histories, chemical properties and effects, medical uses and recreational abuses, and associated health problems, as well as addiction and treatment information.

Additional survey chapters discuss general and historical information on illegal drug use, the effect of drugs on the brain, the war on drugs, drugs in the workplace, the economy and culture of illegal drugs, and information on thirty-three psychoactive drugs that are legal in the United States, from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco to betel nuts and kava kava.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452285057
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/30/2003
Edition description: Updated
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 1,257,794
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

 Dr. Paul Gahlinger has been involved in drug research since 1984 and is a professor of medicine at the University of Utah.  He is a certified substance abuse medical review officer, an FAA aviation medical examiner, and a consultant for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, and a passionate spokesperson on drug issues.

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Illegal Drugs 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drugs are everywhere. We encounter them everyday. The question remains, though, how do we approach them? Do we experiment with them or do we pass them by. Paul M. Gahlinger’s, Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse, attempts to answer this question. Paul Gahlinger is a doctor, teacher at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, researcher at NASA, and a leading scientist/professional in the field of pharmacology. I read his book Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse for my high school chemistry class. My teacher it would help us further understand the chemical nature and origin of many drugs. The main idea behind this book is to provide accurate knowledge of certain drugs to the reader to help influence their decisions on whether to try a drug or pass on it. I thought this book accomplished its goal in full. This is in part because of the very knowledgable author and the very knowledgable sources he used. It was very in depth, almost to the point where it became rather boring and a tire to read.  Paul gives a very in depth description of the history, use, and abuse of many modern day drugs and those that have fallen out of popularity. He blatantly describes why he wrote this book and what he hopes to accomplish by doing so. He also includes phone numbers of help centers throughout the United States in case you suffer from an addiction or simply need help with a certain drug. He includes many sources throughout the book. Some of these include representatives from the DEA and the Native American Church.  Paul Gahlinger clearly knows what he is talking about. His background in medicine and extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals make him a great person to write this book. He also makes sure to focus on the drugs he talk about. He doesn’t focus on the bigger picture as much. This ensures a fair representation of each drug. Paul was at a conference in Switzerland and was asked to speck about the drug problem. He is obviously a highly respected scientist/researcher. He also participates in events that promote cleaning up the streets and making sure that drug use remains safe while not blatantly going against them. In this way he is unbiased.  Paul’s descriptions of the drugs he has chosen to write about are spot on. He focuses mainly on the history of each drug, its effects, and the symptoms of withdrawal and overdose. He also talks about what to do if there is an overdose. This helps him achieve his goal of educating the reader beyond a basic education level. These descriptions are almost one-hundred percent accurate due to the fact that he has some remarkable sources helping him. He cites sources from DEA on numerous occasions. These relationships he has formed with the DEA help him to relate real life scenarios and statistics to each drug making the description seem both more realistic and believable.  The one negative thing that I can think of is that some of the descriptions go too far in depth. Gahlinger does his beset to make the learning experience enjoyable so that the reader won’t simply read the first page and then put the book down and never glance at it again. That wouldn’t help him achieve his goal at all. Towards, the end of the book certain drugs and descriptions start to become repetitive. He gives a little too much history or describes too many forms of each drug. It these parts that would turn a reader off, so to speak. I think he should have cut a few of the drugs and focused on perhaps who makes these drugs or who sells them. He only educates the reader on the specifics of the drug. I think with that added information this book could really be quite an enjoyable read. Written by GianCarlo
sasha17 More than 1 year ago
Paul Gahlinger, the author of Illegal Drugs, is a professor of medicine at the University of Utah. He has a medical degree and a PhD in medicine. I personally read this book for my chemistry class. The main topic of this book is Illegal drugs. The author wrote this book to give health and science related information on illegal drugs to the reader. I believe the book would be a good read for someone looking for basic information on drugs.  In part one, “The Forbidden Fruit”, which is 7 chapters long, the author talks about the history and culture of illegal drug use. Part two of the book, “Illegal drugs for A-Z”, covers the science of specific drugs from A-Z. Part three, “Self Help Resources”, talks about ways to identify drug addiction and where to get help.  Three parts of this book that I found very interesting are the long term health problems, origin of drugs and legal drugs. The long term health problem section comes at the end of every chapter in the second part of the book. It talks about what long term health problems come with each drug. For example the marijuana part of the book says that people who smoke marijuana have the same long term health problems of people who smoke tobacco. The cocaine section says that people often suffer from stomach ulcers to damaged intestines. In the origins of the drug section it talks about where drugs came from in the cocaine section it talks about how the leave came from the Andes, how it was originally used and how it turned into a powder. The last part I found interesting was the section where it talks about legal drugs. It gives you a list of drugs, where they originated from and how they affect your body. Because the author does not judge and how the author lays out the information on a very basic yet informative level, this book would been good for someone who wants to look up something very quick and specific and has no access to the internet.   I believe that for somebody who is looking for basic information on many different types of drugs this book would be a good pick up. I found many interesting parts in the long term health problems, origins and, the list of drugs that are legal.  -Sasha, Stuart Hall Highschool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Illegal Drugs by Paul Gahlinger gives readers factual information about the dangers of taking illegal drugs and how detrimental it can be to both oneself and to society. Paul Gahlinger is a professor of medicine at the University of Utah, so his information relates not only to just drugs but also how it harms you through a medical standpoint. I read this book because it was assigned as homework for my chemistry class so we could understand the chemical compounds involved in making these drugs. Overall, Illegal Drugs is a very informative book that dives deep into specific drugs and gives a lot of information on each one. First off, before diving deep into the specific drugs, Gahlinger gives us readers information about what type of drug it is that we are reading about, how it is taken, the duration of its effect, its physical danger, and its addiction potential. The format of each chapter follows this same beginning, giving it a very straightforward approach to factual information. Later on in the chunk of the chapter, the author gives a brief history of the drug, who’s using it, the chemical characteristics, where in the world it is most common, and how it is produced. Later on, in the last few sections of the chapter, Gahlinger will discuss its effects on the body, how it is tested for, long term health problems, what to do if there is an overdose, and the physical and mental signs of overdose. Overall, this book is very informative and well organized. However, as a result of the organization of the chapters and the similar format of each chapter, it becomes a bit boring and very repetitive. However, since I read this for my chemistry class, it became easier to take notes because I knew what to expect from each chapter. If you are looking for a good book to read on your free time, this would not be a good read as it gets boring and repetitive.
Dawn Tucker More than 1 year ago
a quick yet mostly accurate guide for quick reference