Drug Nation: Patterns, Problems, Panics & Policies

Front Cover
Humans have been using psychoactive (mind-altering) drugs since ancient times. Barely a day goes by without a drug related issue reaching the headlines, and drugs, in some way or other, affect all of our lives, whether by our own use, the use of those we know, or even from just being a victim of drug related crime. This book provides an accessible and lucid introduction to some of the main health and social issues related to illicit drugs and their use. It reviews a range of popular drugs - including amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy (MDMA), heroin and LSD whilst considering the law related to such substances. Written in an accessible and approachable style, the book dispels some of the many myths about drug use that exist, offering an authoritative and balanced perspective on issues of personal, local, national and international importance. Drug Nation will be essential reading for anyone who wants to be informed about the drug situation, offering a sensible and non-sensational account of drugs and drug taking.

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the history
2 Drugs in perspective
patterns of use
the good the bad and the ugly
a question of balance
6 The law and the criminal justice system
7 Does drug education make any difference?
8 Can drug classification and drug policy ever be evidencebased?
9 Therapeutic options
10 Future directions

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About the author (2011)

Martin A. Plant is Professor of Addiction Studies in the Alcohol & Health Research Unit in the University of the West of England, Bristol. His publications include the books Drugtakers in an English Town (1975), Drugs in Perspective (1981,1987), Risktakers: Alcohol, Drugs, Sex and Youth (1992), Alcohol: Minimising the Harm (1997), The Alcohol Report (2000), Binge Britain: Alcohol & the National Response (2006). He is co-editor of a four volume anthology entitled Addiction: Major Themes in Health and Welfare (2007). He is Director of the UK part of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol & other Drugs (ESPAD). His special interests include the epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use and the effectiveness of and barriers to the implementation of policy options.

Roy Robertson is Honorary Clinical Reader in the Division of Community Health Sciences in the University of Edinburgh. He has worked as a full time National Health Service general practitioner for many years in a deprived area of Edinburgh. He has directed the long-running Edinburgh Drug Addiction Study and is an acknowledged authority on illicit drugs and HIV/AIDS. He has served on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs as well as committees of the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Scottish Executive. He was Chairman of the Shipman Committee. Roy currently holds a grant from the Chief Scientist Office to research the long-term effects of injecting drug use. He has been a trainer in General Practice and an advisor to various parliamentary, criminal justice, media and educational groups on topics relating to drug misuse, hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. His publications include the book Heroin, AIDS and Society. Roy Robertson is doctor to HM the Queen in Scotland.

Patrick Miller is Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Alcohol & Health Research Unit in the University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom. He has worked for many years on surveys of substance use both in adults and in teenagers. He plays a leading role in analysing and documenting findings from the UK part of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD). Patrick is Chairman of the ESPAD working group on attitudes. He is also a key member of the research team working on Gender, Alcohol & Culture: An International Study (GENACIS) for the UK and the Isle of Man. He has also been involved in studies of schizophrenia and, in particular, in work on life events and depression.