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Can J Hosp Pharm. 2009 May-Jun; 62(3): 252.
PMCID: PMC2826937

Handbook of the Medical Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 2nd edition

Reviewed by Beth Sproule, RPh, BScPhm, PharmD, Advanced Practice Pharmacist/Clinician Scientist

J Brick, editor. , editor.  The Haworth Press,  New York,  2008. Hardcover,  639 pages.  10 078903574X,  13 978-0789035745. 

What is the difference between Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff amnesia? What is the mechanism of alcohol-induced liver disease? Are there any medical consequences of hallucinogen use? Does prenatal cocaine exposure have any developmental consequences?

You can find the answers to these and many other questions in the second edition of the Handbook of the Medical Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. This book is part of The Haworth Medical Press series in neuropharmacology and was written with the goal of bringing the most recent findings in this field to scientists, physicians, other clinicians, and advanced students. The chapters provide in-depth and well-referenced reviews of the medical consequences of substance abuse. The book covers the acute and chronic effects of alcohol, its effects on brain structure and function and on brain neurochemistry, and the effects of prenatal exposure. Other substances covered include cannabis, opioids, hallucinogens, nicotine, and a variety of nonprescription drugs such as antihistamines, caffeine, dextromethorphan, and ephedrine. One chapter focuses on the interactions between alcohol and medications, and another on the special issues that arise for people who have both substance-use disorders and other mental health disorders. The contributors have taken a scholarly approach, providing evidence to support associations between health problems and substance use, explaining the pathophysiology, and supplying prevalence estimates. Each chapter concludes with a summary section that provides a concise overview.

Most textbooks on substances of abuse focus on the problems of abuse and dependence, including aspects of loss of control over the substance, harms to the individual’s ability to function, harms to family and society, and treatment approaches for these problems. This book is unique in its orientation toward the health effects of substance abuse. Although this book is not a treatment guide, the extensive information compiled in this work will be valuable to both researchers and medical clinicians working with people with substance use problems in any setting.

Articles from The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy are provided here courtesy of Canadian Society Of Hospital Pharmacists