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March 17, 1975

Drug Addiction, vol 3: Neurobiology and Influences on Behavior; vol 4: New Aspects of Analytical and Clinical Toxicology

Author Affiliations

Illinois Drug Abuse Programs Chicago

JAMA. 1975;231(11):1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240230060029

The editors have compiled a five-volume series of papers that were specifically invited from those presented at the Second International Symposium on Drug Addiction. The stated intention is enormously ambitious—to present a multidisciplinary approach and a complete picture of the whole field, namely, problems of drug abuse, tolerance, addiction, and methadone treatment. The result of these broad intentions is alleged to represent a meaningful body of literature for psychologists, pharmacologists, anatomists, chemists, sociologists, neurologists, and public health professionals. Furthermore, the editors advise the general practitioner to use the series as a textbook in helping to warn patients about the misuse of prescribed medications.

I seriously doubt that any of these expectations are realistic. Potential readers should have a prerequisite that includes working knowledge of psychopharmacology, neurochemistry, neurology, and behavioral analysis. Also necessary for the reader is an ability to criticize basic research design and appreciate the variations of clinical and