Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse
The complete guide to all 178 drugs that are illegal in the United States. 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.
Accurate, But Sometimes a Little Annoying
By Mark K. Mcdonough "Mark McDonough" - March 1, 2002
I'm not going to throw rocks at this book, because there is an incredible dearth of good information on this subject, and in the information in this book is excellent. But when Gahlinger says "complete," he is not kidding. This is a great resource for the sophisticated student of the subject, with history, sociology and legal issues as well as medical info, and lots of coverage of obscure drugs. For people whose interest in the subject which is either more casual or practical (e.g. "Is this stuff dangerous?" or "What's my kid getting into?") the book may be a little overwhelming.I cannot stress how thoroughly superior this book is to Andrew Weil's "From Chocolate to Morphine."
Excellent, readable review of the drug world
By David - September 4, 2006
This is among the most readable reference books written. The history and relationships of abusable drugs are covered. Then, commonly abused drugs receive individual attention. The information seems accurate and factual, and the author is a University-based M.D.
Unfortunately, he doesn't always note the source of some quotes clearly in the text. This leaves one wondering, at times, if the quote was intended to demonstrate a truth or a misconception -- especially if the topic in question is controversial. There are only occasional, minor references to sensationalistic stories that leave one wondering if they're true.
The author's bias (having read 2/3rds of the book so far), seems to be that the "War on Drugs" has not worked, but he's not a promoter of drug use, noting frequently the enormously harmful effects of drugs on both individuals and society. He describes both the positive and negative uses of drugs.
While this book contains a great deal... read more
Accurate, No-nonsense Information
By Jesse E Lane, drug policy student activist - January 28, 2002
In the vein of Andrew Weil and Winifred Rosen's From Chocolate to Morphine, Gahlinger's Illegal Drugs exemplifies a complete, `safety-first' approach to discussing illicit drugs and drug use in this country. Gahlinger goes beyond simply explaining the effects of various drugs on the body and mind; he explores the non-physical -but equally important- aspects of drug use/abuse, including extensive information on the legal consequences of involvement with drugs, drug testing in the workplace, economics of the drug trade, and the origins of U.S. drug policy. Perhaps most outstanding aspect of Gahlinger's book is his thorough, no-nonsense instructions for detecting a drug overdose and seeking efficient, timely medical care for the victim- knowledge that could, one day, be the deciding factor between the death or recovery of a friend or loved one. The accurate, rational information contained in Gahlinger's Illegal Drugs is an invaluable gift for any young adult today.
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