DRUG USE AND DRUG ABUSE by Geraldine Woods


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Woods seems to be building up a cautionary case with her early, elementary lecture on all the considerations a doctor must keep in mind to prescribe the right drug for a particular patient and condition; but instead of making the point, she switches abruptly to the subject of addiction. The rest is a classified drug-by-drug rundown from heroin to alcohol and tobacco, which emphasizes the bad effects of each. Woods' tone is calm, but subtleties and fine points are ignored. Unsurprisingly, her stance overall is permissive regarding doctors' prescriptions (the use of methadone for heroin addiction, tranquilizers for tension, and amphetamines for weight loss and hyperactivity are all mentioned, without a hint of their controversiality) and conservative toward illegal drugs (extreme effects of cocaine use are mentioned but not their rarity; the much-repeated apocryphal tales of LSD-induced sun blindness and fatal jumps from windows are, once more, repeated). Like most juveniles on the subject, then, this is not a sterling example of conscientious scientific inquiry, still less an opportunity for readers to exercise informed decision-making--but no doubt it is well attuned to most school drug-education programs.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Watts