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Book and Media Reviews
May 2, 2012

Lowinson and Ruiz’s Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliation: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (

JAMA. 2012;307(17):1868-1869. doi:10.1001/jama.307.17.1868

This massive tome made me ponder the future of print textbooks. With the index, it runs 1074 pages and weighs several pounds. Most readers would consider it uncomfortable to hold without placing it on a desktop. This has long been true of medical textbooks. But purchase of this book comes with access to an easy-to-use online version. The online version also permits the reader to enlarge the font.

The contributors list includes renowned experts. In the preface, the editors state that “The content of this book represent the most up-to-date information related to every possible aspect of addiction, that is the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of all addictive disorders and conditions” (p vii). I believe the editors have achieved their stated goal. The book is organized into 12 sections with 81 chapters.

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