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on 29 July 2012
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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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2013
This is a comprehensive and well written book on all aspects of drugs. It is comprehensive in that it includes information on all drugs; recreational, medicinal, legal and illegal, everything from coffee to crack. It covers everything from the prehistory of drug taking to the present day 'war on drugs', with particular emphasis on drug policy in the UK, pointing out some of the unintended negative side effects of this policy, and also some of its inconsistencies. For example, he points out that tobacco and alcohol are drugs that are much more dangerous than many illegal drugs. I found his analysis of the place of tobacco and alcohol in our drug culture particularly engaging. Nutt strives to be scientific and factual. He calls for policy to be based on science and the facts, and for the public, young people and their parents to be armed with accurate information about the risks and benefits of drug taking. The last chapter - on what to tell our children - is particularly useful. The book is well researched and referenced, and also has a useful index with definitions of the words indexed. In spite of its thoroughness and basis in science, it is very readable, being aimed at the general reader. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed, and a well motivated teenager should be able to read it without difficulty. So there you are, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, read this book!! If only..........
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on 5 January 2017
I'd heard great things about this book before i started reading it. Professor Nutt does a great job of describing the history, pharmacokinetics, risks and cultural ties of most common drugs.

He provides great insight into drugs policy, especially in the U.K and the flaws and limitations of the system.

I am a fast reader and this book took me longer than expected to finish as the information provided does require some digesting!
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on 28 March 2013
This book really lives up to its title. A very readable discussion of drugs, the law, and how the law works out in practice. Of course, one reason I think it so good is that it confirms my previous opinion - but it does so with a wealth of facts and documented references.

What is makes clear is that the current law could almost have been designed to maximise the harm done by drugs. Due to a huge number of unintended consequences, current law is such as to increase drug usage while denying most sufferers from drug abuse the appropriate forms of treatment.

I wish our law could be overhauled along the lines described in thsi book. Dr Nutt does not claim to have the solution to everything - but he does have a large number of well-argued suggestions as to how things could be made much, much better.

Highly recommended.
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on 8 October 2015
hi, how you doing, all good i hope just like this book, the issues addressed in this book about drugs, both legal and illegal, the current law and reform, medicine, criminality and social harm are fundamental to the ongoing well being of the nation and society in general the world over.
Proff. David Nutt has taken the argument into the 21st century with actual science fact, experimental evidence and common sense truth, unlike our government who are only ignorant politicians with little or no empathy for any human condition.........enjoy being enlightened. K.B
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on 12 November 2012
This was an eye-opening book for me.

I could not imagine so much distortion between science and politics. It really made me think.

Explanations on the way drugs work seemed a bit simplistic, but that was probably due to my biology training. Everyone will understand and banefit from it.

Still, the book is absolutely irreplaceable of its analysis regarding policy making. It connects history, media, morals and politics and offers well-founded critique to modern legislation.

Besides all that the book gives good advice how to educate children about these substances and how better to understand addiction.

Wonderful read.
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on 1 November 2013
This is a great book containing real scientific data on the physical and social effects of drugs, in the real world. It's very understandable and easy to read, without shying away from the science. Most importantly, it's book about the real world, where some people do take drugs (some even enjoy it!) and policies that rely on stopping all drug use (except alcohol and tobacco, which somehow don't count), simply aren't going to fly.

Anybody involved in drugs policy should read this book to get some proper evidence on which to base their opinions. Anyone taking (or considering taking) any kind of drug (that included alcohol and tobacco) should read this book to get an idea of the relative risks of different drugs.
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on 4 January 2014
David Nutt is an expert on all things drugs related, and it really shows. He's also a good writer, and this book really had me hooked (or should I say addicted?).

Largely in response to the sensationalist rantings of the tabloids, this book does a great job of explaining the risks and the mechanisms of addictions, highs, and withdrawls.

My only criticism of the book is that David Nutt's status means that a lot of the research and papers that he references have his own name amongst the list of authors, which can make you wonder a little if he is cherry picking data.
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on 27 January 2014
I happened to stumble across this book whilst browsing the science shelves in a bookshop. The whole premise of the book grabbed my attention instantly as I had always wondered why cannabis is legal in some countries / states if the scientific and governmental consensus is that it is a harmful, psychosis-inducing substance. When I got home later that afternoon I watched some of David Nutt's lectures online and knew immediately that he was a man who knew his stuff. Practically everything he said was backed up with evidence, references and plain ol' common sense. Ordered the book that very night.

I was not disappointed with this book in the slightest. I dived into it not knowing an awful lot about drugs but kept an open mind. Each and every chapter kept me engaged and made me challenge my preconceived notions about the harms and benefits of all of the drugs mentioned. It totally changed my perspective.

This book is not just an enticing read but it should be considered gospel for layman literature about drugs as all of the harms are unexaggerated or untainted by political opinion and all of the benefits are also, studied without bias. READ THIS BOOK
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on 9 October 2014
This should be required reading for policy makers. Facts without hype or hysteria, and a lot of useful information and suggestions that could save lives and reduce harm of all kinds - not least from what is currently society's most harmful (overall) drug: alcohol.

Very readable, enlightening and a useful book for everyone, since almost everyone uses drugs of some kind. You may not think so, because we arbitrarily divide drugs into those that are legal and those that are illegal. You may not even think of the legal ones as drugs, (e.g. alcohol, tobacco, caffeine), but they are. And you could be forgiven for thinking that the legal drugs must be much less harmful than the illegal ones. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn the truth about what they put into their bodies and the true potential for harm (or otherwise) to self, loved ones and wider society.
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