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Drugs in Modern Society, Fourth Edition

NCJ Number
Charles R. Carroll
Date Published
414 pages
Intended for use in drug education courses for students from a variety of disciplines, this book provides current, accurate, and documented information about drug substances; mind-altering or psychoactive drugs are the major focus of the text, but consideration is also given to nonpsychoactive drugs that are frequently misused and to the legal recreational or social drugs infrequently viewed as part of the real drug problem in America.
Although each of the 14 chapters is self-contained, this edition is organized into six major parts that provide a measure of sequential development and interrelatedness of subjects that pertain to psychoactive drugs and drug-taking behaviors. Part 1 presents an overview of drug problems in America; an understanding of the persistence of mood modification via drugs despite legal, moral, and social restrictions; and a simplified explanation of drug actions within the human body and of the often observed component of drug dependency. Part 2 examines psychoactive drugs that are collectively referred to as the depressants; and Part 3 discusses stimulants, the psychoactive drugs that tend to speed up central nervous system function. The focus is on tobacco products, since cigarette smoking is still considered the Nation's leading preventable cause of death. Part 4 is concerned with the mind-expanding euphoriants, namely the psychedelics, phencyclidine, and marijuana. Part 5 addresses the less obvious aspects of America's drug problem: the frequent misuse and even abuse of over-the-counter and prescribed medications, many of which are not psychoactive in their effects. Part 6 offers some new insights into the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse, as well as the variety of mechanisms used to reduce the severity of drug-related problems in a drug-using society. Chapter summaries and references, a glossary, and a subject index