MANAGING THE ""DRUGS"" IN YOUR LIFE: A Commonsense Personal and Family Guide by Stephen J. Levy
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MANAGING THE ""DRUGS"" IN YOUR LIFE: A Commonsense Personal and Family Guide

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Help in making conscious, rational decisions about drug use--whether regarding coffee or cocaine. Levy, a psychologist specializing in the treatment of drug abuse, sets out four basic premises: drugs are an integral part of our lives; inherently they are neither good nor bad, but susceptible to abuse depending on who uses them and how; each of us must assume responsibility for what we put into our bodies (the government, or others, notwithstanding); ""a core of practical wisdom"" exists to aid in making decisions. Eschewing hard-and-fast positions (and tacitly inviting discussion), Levy looks first at ""Drugs and the Family""--because ""this is where lifelong health attitudes and practices are first experienced."" (School instruction is mostly too little, too late--and leaving the topic to teachers is a prime example of dodging responsibility.) He drubs experts who list ""blazing red eyes"" and slurred speech as warning signs for parents: ""if things have gone that far then you have been missing a hell of a lot about your kids besides drug use."" Parents should ask their kids directly--and early. ""Drugs and School"" scrutinizes the effect of drugs on studying, and gives kids some useful pointers on handling peer pressure, cliques, and popularity; ""Drugs and the Workplace"" tells adult readers how to rate their use of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine (chiefly), and its prospective effect on their work. ""Drugs and Medicine,"" in turn, describes how to take an active role in dealing with pharmacists and physicians (and, for women, how to handle such sexist tendencies as over-prescription of tranquilizers). Finally, ""Getting High"" discusses recreational drugs, their effects on various activities (including sex), and what constitutes relatively safe use. Avoiding the how-to-use-drugs trap (unlike Well and Rosen's Chocolate to Morphine, p. 112) as well as any specific viewpoint, Levy has managed to set out guidelines whereby readers can establish a drug-use philosophy for themselves and their families, and provided up-to-date information on drugs of common use. A valuable source.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1983
Publisher: McGraw-Hill