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Drugs of Abuse: Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms

ISBN: 978-1-118-28845-0
208 pages
May 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Drugs of Abuse: Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms (1118288459) cover image


Drug abuse has been, and continues to be, a global societal issue with diverse sets of impacts. Drugs of Abuse: Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms introduces the basic principles of pharmacology and neuroscience of drug abuse. Understanding the chemistry of commonly abused drugs and their impact on brain function will provide students and researchers with a more profound understanding of the molecular basis of drug abuse and addiction.

Drugs of Abuse: Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms opens with a brief history of drug use and abuse. Subsequent sections look at specific families of drugs, including stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens among others, and explore how their chemical make-up interacts with brain function. The final chapter provides a brief overview of clinical substance abuse treatment.

Providing a concise, accessible introductory overview of the topic, Drugs of Abuse: Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms will be a valuable resource for students, researchers, and others interested in how drugs interact with the brain.

Introduces readers to the basic principles of neuroscience and pharmacology as related to drug use and abuse. 

  • Explores how the chemical make-up of drugs interact with the brain and can lead to addiction
  • Includes coverage of a wide array of commonly abused families of drugs, including stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and others.
  • Provides an essential introduction to the chemical and molecular underpinnings of drug use and abuse
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Table of Contents

Contributor List ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Introduction 1

Part I Stimulants 13

2 Biochemistry of Neurotransmission 15

3 Amphetamine and Amphetamine Analogs 33

4 Cocaine 65

Part II Depressants, Sedative Hypnotics, and Anxiolytics 75

5 Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates 77

Part III Dissociative Anesthetics 93

6 Phencyclidine and Ketamine 95

7 γ Hydroxybutyrate 105

Part IV Analgesics 115

8 Morphine and Morphine Analogs 117
Carlos Cepeda

Part V Hallucinogens 135

9 Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and Mescaline 137

10 Marijuana 153

11 Inhalants and Miscellaneous Drugs 167

Part VI Recovery and Relapse 181

12 Treatment of Substance Dependency 183
Mark DeAntonio

Index 189

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Author Information

Sherrel G. Howard is an Associate Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Child Psychiatry and the Brain Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles
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“Overall, an excellent resource for understanding current information about drugs of abuse that will appeal to a wide audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Students of all levels, general readers, and professionals/practitioners.” (Choice, 1 November 2014)
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