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Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

Leslie Iversen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 Aug 2001 Very Short Introductions
The book gives a non-technical account of how drugs work in the body. The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomac ulcers, cancer, and metal illnesses. These, along with the introduction of the oral contraceptive, have altered all of our lives. There has also been an increase in the recreational use and abuse of drugs in the Western world. The book reviews both legal (alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine) and illegal drugs and disscusses current idea about why some are addictive, and whether drug laws need reform.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (23 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192854313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192854315
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.3 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


The chapters are easy to dip into, but the book as a whole reads well and is short enough to read cover to cover. . . The book is up to date (Chemistry in Britain 01/03/2002)

I found the text very informative . . . this book succeeds as a general introduction to drugs in medicine abd society, and should have wide appeal to both scientists and non-scientists. It is also good value for money. (Chemistry in Britain 01/03/2002)

illuminating (TNT Magazine, 17/01/2001)

a vade-mecum of drugs of all kinds, bursting with facts presented succintly in a user-friendly style that will make it a favourite reference for many people not otherwise versed in the sciences. Highly recommended. (Gill Ewing, Nurturing Potential)

About the Author

Leslie Iversen is Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford, and was previously Director of the Neuroscience Research Centre of Merck Research Laboratories. His most recent book is The Science of Marijuana, published by OUP.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The word 'drug' refers to a chemical substance that is taken deliberately in order to obtain some desirable effect. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drugs are great, M'kay 9 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Very Short Introduction series are written by professors of the subject and are aimed at provoking cross-discipline intrigue in the reader that may incite further investigation and reading - and boy, are they good at achieving exactly that; often they leave more questions than answers.

Drugs is a comprehensive look at the history, origin and development of all forms of drugs, medicinal & recreational. The book splits into two at this point and details the development of medicines and their usage and effect in society today. It lists the mainstay of the recreational drugs that are commonplace in today's society and their effects, positive & negative. The legislation that concerns both types of drug is also detailed.

After the suite of interesting quirks and facts has been recounted, the book looks to the future of drug development and usage. This is a deeply interesting subject that will divide it's audience, but I found this fascinating reading - despite needing an update - initially published in 2001, it does make a few statements that are no longer true; the reclassification of substances in the UK for example. Regardless, this is an intriguing look at a controversial subject. Highly recommended!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good intro for a general audience 17 July 2010
I give a lot of talks and lectures on pharmacology for a range of audiences and I'm often asked to recommend a good, shortish book that covers the basics. This book does exactly that. As a pharmacologist myself I found it really interesting and easy to read as well as authoritative. My students have reported back to me that they also found it really interesting and easygoing. My only criticism is that it's now getting a bit out of date. A lot has happened in pharmacology since 2001!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction 13 July 2006
By Roy A. Patchell - Published on Amazon.com
This is another great book in the OUP series of very short introductions. The book covers the history of drugs, the action and uses of various drugs for specific conditions (e.g. heart disease), recreational drugs, and modern drug development. It is written in a simple, easy to understand style that does not presuppose any chemical knowledge or scientific background.
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it 2 Sep 2014
By Ashley Higgins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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