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Books, Journals, New Media
December 2, 1998

Mind-Alering DrugsThe Chemistry of Mind-Altering Drugs: History, Pharmacology, and Cultural Context

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1998;280(21):1873. doi:10.1001/jama.280.21.1873-JBK1202-4-1

How drugs influence the human mind has captivated and fascinated humans, including Daniel M. Perrine, a faculty member in the department of chemistry at Loyola College in Baltimore, Md, resulting in this imaginative monograph.

The Chemistry of Mind-Altering Drugs concerns the chemistry of psychoactive drugs, including substances of abuse. The main part, about three quarters, consists of the chapters "Opium and Opioids," "Depressants: Alcohol, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates," "Stimulants: Nicotine, Caffeine, Cocaine, Amphetamines," "Antipsychotics and Antidepressants," "Psychedelics: LSD to XTC," and "Dissociatives and Cannabinoids: PCP, THC, ETCs." These six chapters, 353 pages in all, cover not only drugs acting on the central nervous system as found in most pharmacology textbooks, but also psychoactive drugs with unique cultural, religious, and anthropological aspects. An introductory chapter highlights the basic concept of neurotransmission, and four appendices, 66 pages total, review principles of organic chemistry, such as nomenclature, chemical structure, bonding, radical groups, and chirality. The book ends with an 18-page index.

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