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March 22, 1985

Substance Abuse Disorders in Clinical Practice

Author Affiliations

Albert Einstein College of Medicine Yeshiva University Bronx, NY


by Edward C. Senay, 243 pp, with illus, $22.50, Littleton, Mass, John Wright-PSG Inc, 1983.

JAMA. 1985;253(12):1799. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350360125037

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This authoritative book is succinct and remarkably thorough for its length. In spite of the volume of material published on substance abuse, the reader will find here a fresh perspective. Until the publication of this book, physicians have lacked a really valuable tool for dealing with substance abusers, who are appearing with greater frequency in their offices, with either a primary complaint of substance abuse or, all too often, a history of substance abuse that is overlooked when they present with more common medical ailments.

Dr Senay's simple "how-to" approach to interviewing, history taking, and counseling as well as his specific and detailed outlines of management principles should enable even the most inexperienced practitioner to establish a therapeutic relationship with substance abusers. The author wisely cautions against mere advice-giving and encourages instead "sensitive listening in an attempt to increase understanding of the forces at work...."

This book is particularly valuable