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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great fact based book from UIT publishing.
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...
Published on 2 Jun 2012 by Mr. E. J. Leoni-smith

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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much "this is how it is", too little discussion of actual evidence
I bought this book for two reasons: It received a favourable review in The Economist and the title is an allusion to the superb "Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air" of the same publisher (picking the right title obviously sells). The two books, however, have little in common in terms of approach, structure and style.

The broad message of "Drugs - Without...
Published on 1 Sep 2012 by 263


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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great fact based book from UIT publishing., 2 Jun 2012
By 
Mr. E. J. Leoni-smith "Leo Smith" (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (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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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair and honest, 31 May 2012
By 
Mr. Straves "silver9" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent read., 29 July 2012
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This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (Paperback)
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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensible, informative and easy to read, 4 Jun 2012
This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (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
4.0 out of 5 stars crucial, 3 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth closer inspection, 11 Aug 2012
This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read. Undeniable facts that unfortunately many people are unwilling to believe., 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (Paperback)
If you are interested in drugs PLEASE READ THIS BOOK

If you know someone who is interested in drugs PLEASE ADVISE THEM TO READ THIS BOOK

If you are going to educate someone on drugs (especially children) PLEASE BE SURE YOUR FACTS ARE CORRECT, AND READ THIS BOOK

If someone is trying to educate you on drugs IT'S WORTH CHECKING THEIR FACTS BY READING THIS BOOK

If you don't do "drugs", but DO drink alcohol and/or smoke PLEASE READ THIS BOOK
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drop the taboos and start to be rational., 1 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (Paperback)
Prof. Nutt firstly gives us an introduction to who he is and his motivations for writing the book, he then goes on to explain the comparative techniques and the resulting order of harmfulness of drugs. Over the next chapters drugs (both legal and illegal) are looked at in more depth, history of the drug is given along with several case studies. The benefits of the drugs (i.e. medicinal potential) are also briefly examined.

Every factual claim made is backed up by evidence as you would expect from a scientist. He also suggests at ways legislation could be improved but does not come up with one strict plan, rather several ideas.

You should read this book if you want to be informed about anything to do with drugs.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 11 Jun 2012
This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (Paperback)
This is a great book. Easy to read, and sets out the facts clearly and in a well referenced form. It doesn't have anything revolutionary in it, and the arguments will be familiar to those interested in the area. Nonetheless, its a great read, with the chapters on mepehdrone and MDMA being particularly interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misleading on ecstasy, 23 Nov 2012
This review is from: Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs (Paperback)
On the whole I enjoyed reading this book - HOWEVER I think that comparing ecstasy to horse riding is somewhat misleading. It may be true that the number of deaths per year and damage done to society by each of them is comparable, but this book does not mention the neurotoxic effects of chronic use of ecstasy.
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