Matters of Substance: Drugs: Is Legalization the Right Answer - or the Wrong Question?

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9780141003092: Matters of Substance: Drugs: Is Legalization the Right Answer - or the Wrong Question?

Drugs can be injected, snorted, smoked or swallowed. They can heighten excitement or numb emotion. They are sold by multi-national corporations and on street corners. They can cure and kill. Matters of Substance is a fascinating global tour of drugs and our ambivalent relationship with them. From alcohol to amphetamines, cannabis to crack cocaine, heroin to valium, Griffith Edwards reveals the history, culture and language behind each type of drug - their physical and psychological effects, medical uses, trade routes, the involvement of big business and the chequered path of control and legislation. He considers the key issues surrounding drugs: which are most dangerous? Why do some people become addicted? What causes a drug epidemic? As Edwards argues, only when we truly understand drugs can we hope to deal with them, and this enlightened and informative book will inform all future debates on the subject.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for Matters of Substance

"Probably the most sensible and readable book informing drug policy ever written...as useful to lay readers as it is to researchers, clinicians, and policy makers. This is 'drug education' at its best--an extraordinarily well-written book that belongs in high school libraries, on university reading lists across disciplines, on the desks of policy makers, and in treatment centers."
- Constance Weisner, DrPH, MSW, professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

"An impressive blend of erudition, experience, and common sense...an invaluable resource."
- Marc A. Schuckit, M.D., distinguished professor of psychiatry, School of Medicine University of California, San Diego; director, Alcohol Research Center, VA San Diego Healthcare System

"Experts in the addiction field will recognize wisdom in these pages."
- Keith Humphreys, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine

About the Author:

Griffith Edwards set up the Addiction Research Unit in 1967, a research group which grew into what is now Britain's National Addiction Centre. He has advised the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office on aspects of drug and alcohol policy, alongside advising the WHO. He set up research projects in Africa and Latin America and in the USA has acted as consultant to the White House Office in drug abuse. His books have been translated into 12 different languages. He is currently editor-in-chief of the international scientific journal Addiction and Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry.

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