An adaptation of Levinthal's Drugs, Behavior and Modern Society this successful, widely-regarded, highly readable and pedagogy-oriented textbook on drug use and abuse is now oriented toward a psychological/sociological perspective, with particular attention to issues related to criminal justice.
- Focuses on the psychological and sociological aspects of drug-taking behavior, with a focus on the implications for society in general and the criminal justice system in particular.
- Separate chapters on issues of drug abuse, crime, and criminal justice highlight the perspective on psychological/sociological issues in drug abuse for courses that have a sociological orientation and a focus on criminal justice. These chapters include Chapter 2 (The History of Drug Use and Drug Legislation), Chapter 13 (Drugs and Crime), Chapter 14 (Drugs and the Criminal Justice System), and Chapter 15 (Drug Policy: Prevention, Education, and Treatment). These chapters have been prepared with the assistance of a respected sociologist specializing in the field of criminal justice.
- "Portraits" put the spotlight on a contemporary or historical figure who has had an impact on issues of drug abuse and the criminal justice system related to illicit drugs. These features engage the reader and emphasize the relationship of material in the text to history or contemporary affairs. Examples include: Peter Schlendorf, Ephedra, and the Risks of an "Herbal High" (Chapter 1), Elliott Ness and the Untouchables (Chapter 2), Robert Downey, Jr.--Trials and Tribulations (Chapter 4), Scott Pecor and the Scotchgard High (Chapter 9), Sigmund Freud--Nicotine Dependence, Cigars, and Cancer (Chapter 12), Pablo Escobar--King of Cocaine (Chapter 13), Policing for Profit--The Death of Donald Scott (Chapter 14).
- "Drugs in Focus" features provide historical, contemporary, and future-oriented "side-bar" discussion-provoking topics. Students gain insights into aspects of drug use and abuse that connect to their cultural heritage as well as the popular culture of today. Examples include "Crack babies--An adverse effect? (Chapter 4)," "Disqualified by DNA?--Gene manipulation in competitive sports (Chapter 9)," "Is controlled drinking possible for alcoholics? (Chapter 11)," "Cigarette purchases on the Internet (Chapter 12)," "The Arellano-Felix drug cartel--A Mexican family affair (Chapter 13)," "Methamphetamine labs--Chemical time bombs (Chapter 14)," and "Drug smuggler profiles (Chapter 14)."
- The most up-to-date material of any drugs and alcohol textbook currently on the market. Students recognize that they are reading a textbook that is in tune with current drug trends and the latest statistical information. Examples of currency include the 2004 Monitoring the Future statistics (Chapter 2), new anti-craving medications (Chapter 4), Ritalin and Adderall abuse (Chapter 4), methamphetamine abuse (Chapter 4), buprenorphine treatment for heroin abuse (Chapter 5), new oral-fluid drug testing procedures (Chapter 9), steroid abuse in major league baseball (Chapter 9), and emergent drug trafficking patterns in a post-September 11th world (Chapter 13).
- "Point/Counterpoint Debate" features found at the end of each of the four sections of the book, take an important controversy concerning drugs and examines the primary pro and con viewpoints.
- "Quick Concept Checks" include short questions that test for concept mastery at the end of major sections of each chapter.
- Discussions of particular drugs have been grouped not in terms of their pharmacological or chemical characteristics but rather in terms of their access to the general public and social attitudes toward their use.