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Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs Paperback – 31 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: UIT Cambridge (31 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906860165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906860165
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"the most sensible book about drugs you'll read this year" ... "Nutt is both committed to rigorous, evidence-based policy and to clear, no-nonsense prose that makes complex subjects comprehensible" ... "a book that everyone should read." Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, June 2012 "Finally, Drug Education Gets Real" ... "There's an inherent danger in any sector of education: if the teachings fail to measure up to the truth, then we'll be paving the way for a deep distrust and a greater apathy. With this in mind, it is of tremendous enthusiasm that we welcome Professor Nutt's book: Drugs - Without the Hot Air" ... Huffington Post, 31-May-2012 "Drug bans hamper brain research, says neuroscientist" ... "Bans on drugs like ecstasy, magic mushrooms and LSD have hampered scientific research on the brain and stalled the progress of medicine as much as George Bush's ban on stem cell research did, a leading British drug expert said on Thursday." ... Reuters, LONDON

About the Author

David Nutt is professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Academy of Medical Sciences, the president of the British Neuroscience Association and vice-president of the European Brain Council. He was Chair of the ACMD's Technical Committee for seven years, and became chairman of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in 2010.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mr. E. J. Leoni-smith on 2 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Its not often that books come along written by professional people who really know their stuff, that are readable and accessible by the ordinary person who reads books.

What is fascinating about this book is not only that it explores in pretty good detail the social and pharmacological areas of drug taking, but that it confidently exposes the political dimension as well, and, in particular, the deep divide between the overt aims of the ant-drug legislation - reducing harm to society caused by recreational drug abuse - and the covert aims - essentially remaining electable in a media spun hysteria of moral indignation.

And so we discover that the knee jerk political response are probably the cause of at least more than a little of the harm,that drug taking does..

If you are concerned about drugs, or are thinking of taking them, or indeed - let's be honest, you DO take them, this is essential reading. The very real dangers are frankly discussed, and the very unreal dangers are debunked.

I can give no higher praise than to say that if I ruled the world,. Mt Nutt would be put in charge of framing a rational policy to deal with binge drinking and recreational drug abuse. His solutions might shock and cause moral indignation, but I am sure they would be effective in reducing the social and individual harm associated with these activities.

Sadly in a world where policy is based, not on facts and explaining them to the public, but by knee jerk response to media generated perceptions, there is little hope of this ever happening.

But if you have got as far as reading this review, this is a subject you are patently interested in, this book has to be some kind of milestone in our understanding of the relationship between individuals, the drugs they take, and the society and politics of our time. It's an absolute must-read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jon Birtwistle on 29 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Nutt is an expert authority in the area of recreational drug use and addiction and in his book provides accessible information to a lay audience. It is a pity that the UK governments have not utilised this expertise to develop an evidence based approach to drug policies. The book is well written and perfectly pitched for its target audience. I suggest that it would be a useful book for any secondary school library which would help provide useful information about recreational substances to young people, enabling them to make better informed choices about sustance use and lifestyle. I hope that the book finds a wider audiance and through that enables greater public debate about the current and future roles of recreational and life enhancing substances. Over all, a great book and a great read.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Straves on 31 May 2012
Format: Paperback
In 2008 Nutt was appointed president of the government's Advisory Council on the unlawful use of drugs (ACMD). A year later he published a controversial article in a magazine that compares the risks of horse riding to taking ecstasy. As a result (and also because of other comments about the damage caused by drugs - legal and illegal)he was fired by the Home Secretary.
His book "Drugs - without the hot air", published during the controversy that emerged from his dismissal, explains that all drugs - from tobacco to heroin - are harmful.

Likewise, it shows the government's hypocrisy: while on one hand they try to take a hard line on drugs, on the other hand they try to legalise them.

He explains in depth how drugs affect us and why we take them, and how society should face drugs and their consumption to minimise the damage.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By nicolaterry on 4 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Government policy on drugs is nonsense and this book explains not just how it is nonsense but also how we got into this ridiculous situation. The facts are not always clear in the drugs debate, if only because government policy, driven largely by reaction to biased media reporting, makes research almost impossible. However, there is a great deal we do know.

This book explains the basics of how we are affected by drugs, both legal and illegal, and the different ways they do harm. Then it goes on to evaluate sensibly a range of options for minimising that harm, including different treatments to help addicts quit or manage their condition, and practical ways to reduce demand and supply. Current government policy, both in terms of law and government spending, is clearly non-optimal and Nutt explores the complex historical, geographical, economic and cultural factors which have go us here, and where we need to change to make sensible progress.

Finally, there is some excellent advice which everybody should read before they start taking drugs of any kind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DR PETE on 3 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Forget the rest, this should be the starting point for everyone learning about drugs;as a GP specialising in substance misuse, this explodes all the myths better than any other book Ive read. If only the public knew all the misinformation the government feeds them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fpops on 11 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
Fantastic book. Easily accessible for any sort of reader, so don't be put off if you have no scientific background.

Section on the harms of alcohol is particularly enlightening.

Only criticism is that his prose is slightly dry- a minor point that is entirely forgivable given he is an academic rather than a journalist.
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