The misunderstood harmful effects of drugs on the body is the subject of this well-organized and detailed resource, written to guide clinicians and the lay public in dealing with users and abusers.
Edward J. Benavidez, a certified addiction treatment counselor who has worked in treatment centers in Los Angeles, here covers 14 categories of drugs ranging from alcohol, cocaine, inhalants and methamphetamine to date rape drugs, prescription drugs and more. The book follows a concise setup, covering details such as each drug’s common street names and its short- and long-term effects on the user’s brain, heart, liver, lungs, sexual dysfunction and pregnancy. Details on drug use prevention and interventions plus a test-your-knowledge section enhance the book.
There are interesting historic tidbits as well. For example, the author notes that tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers became morphine addicts when given the drug to curb severe pain. Heroin was then brought in from Germany to counteract the morphine epidemic, causing new problems. In another anecdote, while many believe Wild Bill Hickok and Kit Carson frequented saloons, they likely spent more time in then-popular opium dens.
This guidebook is set up in an easy-to-follow, effective manner for quick reference. However, while it includes 13 pages of references, the majority of the references are websites (such as “myaddiction.com” and “ehow.com”) that provide second-hand information, rather than the original studies that would allow users to verify the quality of the research and information. The book also has minor word misuse and spelling errors, including the drug “ecstasy” in the cover art and the last name Hickok.
Overall, the book has merit and, with the appropriate fixes, could be a widely used and helpful resource for parents and addiction treatment counselors alike.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.