Drugs And Society
by Kuhar, Michael J.; Liddle, Howard; Kuhar, M. J. (CON)

Presents articles that provide information on legal and illegal drugs.

The focus in this alphabetically arranged encyclopedia is "to provide authoritative information on all aspects of legal and illegal drugs of abuse." Aimed at the high-school level, the topics presented cover the way drugs work in the human body; predisposing, enabling, and reinforcing factors that lead to both experimental and continual drug use; behaviors that lead to adverse outcomes, such as overdose and addiction; and the overarching picture of drug use in society, including legal, political, and social issues. The encyclopedia succeeds in providing comprehensive coverage of its subject and does so in clear, readable prose and an accessible, attractive format. Written by subject experts, most with university affiliations, the more than 250 articles fall into one of three thematic categories. "Substances" includes types of drugs (Narcotic drugs); particular substances (Cocaine, GHB); and chemicals natural to the human body (Serotonin). The "Substance Abuse" category includes behavioral, physiological, and psychological aspects associated with abuse and addiction as well as treatment, organizations, and laws. The "Society" category deals with sociological aspects of drug use and abuse, including advertising and cultural values. The themes can be accessed in the "Thematic Contents" section in the front of volume 1 or identified by color coding on the top of the first page of each article-blue for "Substances," yellow for "Substance Abuse," and green for "Society." Articles on particular drugs include "Key Facts" sidebars giving drugs' street names, form, dangers, and legal classification in the U.S and UK as well as the International Narcotics Control Board classification. Many articles include full-color photographs or captioned schematic artwork detailing how the drugs act and relate to human physiology.The writing style in uniformly interesting, lucid, and easy to understand. The first two volumes have their own indexes, glossaries, and lists of supporting books and Web sites. The final volume contains a comprehensive index, thematic indexes, and expanded resource lists and a glossary. This set's attention to the sociological aspects of drug abuse sets it apart from the equally excellent Drugs and Controlled Substances: Information for Students (Gale, 2002) and Encyclopedia of Addictive Drugs (Greenwood, 2002). Recommended for high-school and public library collections. ((Reviewed February 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

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