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From Chocolate to Morphine is the definitive guide to drugs and drug use from one of America’s most respected and best-known doctors. This enormously popular book — the best and most authoritative resource for unbiased information about how drugs affect the mind and the body — covers a wide range of available substances, from coffee to marijuana, antihistamines to psychedel From Chocolate to Morphine is the definitive guide to drugs and drug use from one of America’s most respected and best-known doctors. This enormously popular book — the best and most authoritative resource for unbiased information about how drugs affect the mind and the body — covers a wide range of available substances, from coffee to marijuana, antihistamines to psychedelics, steroids to smart drugs, and discusses likely effects, precautions, and alternatives. Now expanded and updated to cover such drugs as oxycontin, Ecstasy, Prozac, and ephedra and to address numerous ongoing issues, including the United States’ war on drugs, marijuana for therapeutic use, the overuse of drugs for children diagnosed with ADHD, and more, From Chocolate to Morphine is an invaluable resource.


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From Chocolate to Morphine is the definitive guide to drugs and drug use from one of America’s most respected and best-known doctors. This enormously popular book — the best and most authoritative resource for unbiased information about how drugs affect the mind and the body — covers a wide range of available substances, from coffee to marijuana, antihistamines to psychedel From Chocolate to Morphine is the definitive guide to drugs and drug use from one of America’s most respected and best-known doctors. This enormously popular book — the best and most authoritative resource for unbiased information about how drugs affect the mind and the body — covers a wide range of available substances, from coffee to marijuana, antihistamines to psychedelics, steroids to smart drugs, and discusses likely effects, precautions, and alternatives. Now expanded and updated to cover such drugs as oxycontin, Ecstasy, Prozac, and ephedra and to address numerous ongoing issues, including the United States’ war on drugs, marijuana for therapeutic use, the overuse of drugs for children diagnosed with ADHD, and more, From Chocolate to Morphine is an invaluable resource.

30 review for From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    So, this book is amazing and everyone should be required to read it. Boviously that will never happen. The differences between drug use and drug abuse are discussed. The bulk of the book consists of information on many (all?) types of mind-altering drugs: where it came from, how it's used and by whom, how it's abused, how it can be used responsibly. It was so . . . mind-bending to read that it's okay if you use cocaine or amphetamines on occasion, just don't overdo it. (As always, though, stay th So, this book is amazing and everyone should be required to read it. Boviously that will never happen. The differences between drug use and drug abuse are discussed. The bulk of the book consists of information on many (all?) types of mind-altering drugs: where it came from, how it's used and by whom, how it's abused, how it can be used responsibly. It was so . . . mind-bending to read that it's okay if you use cocaine or amphetamines on occasion, just don't overdo it. (As always, though, stay the fuck away from heroin.) Also the authors have a lot of anger towards doctors mis- and over-prescribing medication, which is completely justified. My edition is from 1998 -- I bought it in 2004 (hooray for Amazon's long memory!) but just got around to reading it now. As such, some stuff is out of date, particularly with regard to marijuana and MDMA, and I'd be interested in the latest edition. (Also: the concept of a "designated driver" had apparently not been invented/popularized yet -- he bemoans the fact that this exists in Sweden (I think?) but not the US -- I forgot that that wasn't always a thing.) The book wraps up with an appendix filled with testimonials of drug users. That part's fantastic as well. It's interesting to hear one person say "PCP is a terrible drug and I can't see anyone having a good time with it" directly contrasted with someone saying they've spent years using it responsibly. Also the one about the dude addicted to running. Because that is a real thing. So, yes. There's a ton of information in here that SHOULD be common sense, but isn't because of the amount of propaganda we're fed from day one. All teenagers should read this book. If you tell kids pot will kill them, and they try it anyway and it DOESN'T, they're going to discount any information you've ever given them about drugs. How about telling people the truth instead, and letting them make decisions for themselves? A remarkable thought, I know.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Roman

    Found this book (1988 edition) at a sidewalk book sale for $2. It gives an overview of how different psychoactive substances (from chocolate to marijuana and psychedelics to opiates and stimulants) affect the mind and body. Written before Dr Weil became a household name it also includes suggestions for users to follow if they want an optimal experience and/or remain un-addicted. The facts are presented in a matter-of-fact manner and Weil tries to remain impartial and objective. Some of his sugge Found this book (1988 edition) at a sidewalk book sale for $2. It gives an overview of how different psychoactive substances (from chocolate to marijuana and psychedelics to opiates and stimulants) affect the mind and body. Written before Dr Weil became a household name it also includes suggestions for users to follow if they want an optimal experience and/or remain un-addicted. The facts are presented in a matter-of-fact manner and Weil tries to remain impartial and objective. Some of his suggestions are a bit wonky - it's obvious Weil hasn't personally tested all the substances he writes about - but compared with the scaremongering DARE, DEA and police department anti-drug propaganda pamphlets and videos this book is a breath of fresh air. I first came across it during the height of my high school experimentation days and it was a good counterpoint to the "drugs are evil and will destroy you" stuff distributed by the department of education. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more about recreational substances. Weil does a decent job presenting the basic facts without glorifying drug use or resorting to scare-propaganda tactics and lets readers draw their own conclusions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Troy Harrskjold

    This book is no BS book about illegal drugs. If you using drugs, curious about drugs or know someone who is using drugs. Then this book is for you. A lot of Theocrats and over protective parents would have this book burned because it tells you how to take Psycho-active drugs safely. However, it also tells of the dangers, potential for addiction, effects, accidental overdose info, etc. This book could have saved lives it was circulated well in the 60's and 70's especially. Dr Weil is a reknowned This book is no BS book about illegal drugs. If you using drugs, curious about drugs or know someone who is using drugs. Then this book is for you. A lot of Theocrats and over protective parents would have this book burned because it tells you how to take Psycho-active drugs safely. However, it also tells of the dangers, potential for addiction, effects, accidental overdose info, etc. This book could have saved lives it was circulated well in the 60's and 70's especially. Dr Weil is a reknowned homeopathic doctor and herbalist (ex-hippie). No school counselor or social worker should be without this if they are serious about dealing with people who do drugs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eire Boudicca

    Weil and Rosen were decades ahead of their time in their liberal views and focus on harm reduction. While these views are much more widely accepted these days, 1983 was the start of an era of punitive and abstinence-based approaches to drug use. While this book did not affect the approaches of legal systems and public drug education, I am sure that it lent a more informative, balanced, and non-hysterical view for many teens (and adults!) personally reading it. It would have been nice if From Cho Weil and Rosen were decades ahead of their time in their liberal views and focus on harm reduction. While these views are much more widely accepted these days, 1983 was the start of an era of punitive and abstinence-based approaches to drug use. While this book did not affect the approaches of legal systems and public drug education, I am sure that it lent a more informative, balanced, and non-hysterical view for many teens (and adults!) personally reading it. It would have been nice if From Chocolate To Morphine was used in drug education programs across schools, but that is unlikely outside the context of certain private schooling institutions, which have more leeway in educational approaches. Certainly, I wish that I had read this book as a teenager. As a homeschooled child and teen, I received zero drug education from my parents, other than vague notions about “those marginal people” and “don't do it”. I like that the authors have a more extensive “suggested reading” at the end of each chapter, for those who would like to do more research. I like the direct, straightforward, and non-alarmist language that is used, and just that type of balanced language lends more credibility in my view. However, that's not to say that I think the book is perfect. I feel like this book really glosses over the harm that marijuana and psychedelics can do. Now, I am pro-legalization, and I appreciate the mind-opening and spiritual peak experiences that those drugs can bring. In the book, however, the authors seem to be too slanted towards these positive effects. Marijuana actually has some very detrimental effects on mood and motivation for many people, not just a select few, and I don't think that it's as harmless as the authors suggest it is. I think that the authors downplayed the potential for psychotic episodes from psychedelic use. While the guy who thinks he is a glass of orange juice is an urban myth, there are more than a few people who have had to deal with various other types of short or long-term psychosis triggered by psychedelic use in chaotic set and/or settings. The book is just a little bit outdated in that there is no section for MDMA. This makes sense, of course, because MDMA (“Ecstasy”, “Molly”) became wildly popular in the late 80's to early 90's, after the book was published, and at first it came with a specific subculture. It's actually only in recent years that MDMA has been swept up into popular culture. I would love to read the thoughts that these authors have about it. I also would have liked to read more about Ibogaine (which is now being used rather successfully to treat long-term heroin addiction, but can also be highly dangerous to the heart and liver). In general, I really liked it, and would love to see them come out with a similar book that is more up-to-date and addresses the new trends in drug use.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Oswald

    This is a very informative book. The authors explain the effects of almost every major drug that most people use, including over the counter drugs that people are addicted to. What I did not like about the book was that the information on some of the drugs was rather brief and left me wanting more information. On the other hand, at the end of each chapter the author contributes a list of books on each of the drugs, which I will definitely read. The authors also leave a positive message about th This is a very informative book. The authors explain the effects of almost every major drug that most people use, including over the counter drugs that people are addicted to. What I did not like about the book was that the information on some of the drugs was rather brief and left me wanting more information. On the other hand, at the end of each chapter the author contributes a list of books on each of the drugs, which I will definitely read. The authors also leave a positive message about the use of any drug, and also describes what it is to have a positive relationship with a drug. "We think that the use of any drug becomes abusive when it threatens a person's health or impairs one's social or economic functioning." There is also a brief but factual history of drugs in the world, from coffee to wine and how the Catholic church treated those substances as an evil drug and a traditional sacrament, respectively. The authors also explained why it is that people like to do drug and that since we are young we do certain physical activities that induce hormones that give us a state of euphoria, that we then search for as adults. Interesting Facts: "Injection of drugs is relatively recent, dating only to the invention of the hypodermic syringe in 1853. Interestingly, the world's first morphine addict was the wife of the man who came up with that device." "The substances in this class probably have the lowest potential for abuse of any psychoactive drugs. In purely medical terms, they may be the safest of all known drugs. Even in huge overdose, psychedelics do not kill, and some people take them frequently all their lives without suffering physical damage or dependence." "The mental effects of psychedelics are completely dependent on set and setting - on who takes them and why, where, and how." "Despite loud arguments and much bad publicity about the medical dangers of LSD in the 1970s, there is no evidence that it damages chromosomes, injures the brain, or causes any other physical harm." "Dependence has to do more with human beings, than with drugs."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Fantastic straight forward information about legal and illegal drugs. Very unbiased approach to dispel common myths related to drugs and present the facts. The book is written for a teen to young adult reader so it's very easy to understand. Book focuses heavily on understanding the difference between drug use and drug abuse. It urges the reader that if they decide to experiment with drug use, how to use the drugs as safely as possible to best avoid addictions, complications and abuse. The autho Fantastic straight forward information about legal and illegal drugs. Very unbiased approach to dispel common myths related to drugs and present the facts. The book is written for a teen to young adult reader so it's very easy to understand. Book focuses heavily on understanding the difference between drug use and drug abuse. It urges the reader that if they decide to experiment with drug use, how to use the drugs as safely as possible to best avoid addictions, complications and abuse. The author, a doctor highly skilled in this area of work, admits that many parents may be upset on the books approach but he feels it is very important for young adults to understand proper use of the drugs if they are going to experiment. I really enjoyed this read and it was so interesting to learn in more detail of the many different drugs out there. This is definitely a book I would like to read with my daughter as she becomes a teenager as I feel eduction about this area is so important (instead of classing all drugs as bad, focus on each of them specifically and teach what long term affects they can have on our bodies).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    It's been a while since I read this book... what I liked most about it though, was not so much the writing style nor the information (although the information is great), but the paradigm shift that it created for me. Weil seems to believe that drugs are neither necessarily "good" nor "bad." What makes them either add to the quality of, or create havoc in, your life is your relationship to them (and with that established, he goes on to talk about different drugs, one by one - their characteristic It's been a while since I read this book... what I liked most about it though, was not so much the writing style nor the information (although the information is great), but the paradigm shift that it created for me. Weil seems to believe that drugs are neither necessarily "good" nor "bad." What makes them either add to the quality of, or create havoc in, your life is your relationship to them (and with that established, he goes on to talk about different drugs, one by one - their characteristics and what kinds of "relationships" they can form with people). I appreciate this way of looking at things - I appreciate acknowledging that context matters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Frank Jude

    This is yet another book that has been languishing on my shelves and which I've finally gotten to and read. And, though I think Weil has often gone a bit too far in his 'alternative/complementary' approaches to medicine (to the point of pseudo-science) this early book of his co-written with Winifred Rosen walks a very rational and balanced line. The first few chapters, Weil and Rosen take the time to explain "What Is a Drug?" as well as "Why People Use Drugs" and the various "Relationships with D This is yet another book that has been languishing on my shelves and which I've finally gotten to and read. And, though I think Weil has often gone a bit too far in his 'alternative/complementary' approaches to medicine (to the point of pseudo-science) this early book of his co-written with Winifred Rosen walks a very rational and balanced line. The first few chapters, Weil and Rosen take the time to explain "What Is a Drug?" as well as "Why People Use Drugs" and the various "Relationships with Drugs" people have or can have. This latter chapter is very important -- generally, and also for the writers' project in this book. They write that the black and white view of drugs as either "good" or "bad" has led to the notion that there are "drugs of abuse" while, they convincingly argue: "To say that the use of a drug of abuse is circular and meaningless. We think that the use of any drug becomes abusive when it threatens a person's health or impairs social or economic functioning." Such a reasoned approach can see the reality that while there are indeed some who can use cocaine -- for instance -- recreationally and non-abusively, cigarette smokers with respiratory disease who continue to smoke are clearly abusing tobacco. "On the other hand," they write, "any drug can be used in a non-abusive fashion, even if it is illegal or disapproved. There are many people who consume tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and heroin without abusing them; that is, they remain healthy and fulfill their social and economic obligations." The point is that drug abuse isn't about what the drug being used happens to be but rather drug abuse is a descriptor of a dysfunctional relationship with the drug. The core of the book looks at "Types of Drugs" including "Stimulants," "Depressants," "Psychedelics, or Hallucinogens," "Marijuana," "Solvents and Inhalants; Deliriants; PCP and Ketamine," and "Medical Drugs; Herbal Remedies; Smart Drugs." The final chapters looks at the "Problems with Drugs" as well as "Alternatives to Taking Drugs" which includes meditation, yoga and athletics. And even here, we must remain aware that there can indeed be abusive relationships to yoga, meditation and athletics. In fact, in the "Appendix: First-Person Accounts and Comments" there are personal testimonials from people who may be considered to have abusive relationships to running and fireworks! In summation, an interesting read and a good resource for anyone interested in drug culture, whether pro or con.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex Salo

    Wow - the last time I finished a book in two days must have been more than 10 years ago :) It's absolutely great. I first heard Andrew on the "Tim Ferriss show" podcast, where his reasonableness over his wild experiences just blew my mind, and there he recommended this book, which I bought and ignored because it looks old... All the more for a treat I was in! The book reads super easily - in fact, right off the bat authors say they intend it to be readable by the teenagers who often have to confr Wow - the last time I finished a book in two days must have been more than 10 years ago :) It's absolutely great. I first heard Andrew on the "Tim Ferriss show" podcast, where his reasonableness over his wild experiences just blew my mind, and there he recommended this book, which I bought and ignored because it looks old... All the more for a treat I was in! The book reads super easily - in fact, right off the bat authors say they intend it to be readable by the teenagers who often have to confront all the uncertainties around the drugs without any reliable source of information. And good information helps to make better choices! I don't want to spoil too much, I'd recommend this book to absolutely everyone! Below I'd just provide some topics that this book brings as a more general theme. 1. "High" state is produced by our own brain. Drugs just trigger it, or give us an excuse to notice. You don't have to use drugs - every person can find highs in different things: surfing, signing, meditating... Drugs could be valuable in certain situations though; additionally they can make it easier unlock what's possible inside your brain. 2. Drugs are neither good nor bad; it's the abuse that's bad. One can abuse legal or illegal drugs - legality does not make them any less harmful. Many a drug got a very bad rep not because of its chemical properties but because of the typical users. Some of the really bad drugs are tolerated because only wealthy and responsible adults can afford it. 3. Obviously, don't smoke cigarettes - that's just stupid, there are better drugs :) 4. Some drugs cause addiction, chemically (withdrawal symptoms, e.g. heroin). Some other don't (e.g. marijuana). Even though anything could lead to a dependence: pot, TV, reading. While it's hard to break the dependence, we are free to to choose our dependencies, and usually can easily substitute one for another. And heaps more of really interesting thoughts, on top of the thorough description of every specific drug, legal or not, that you've ever heard of!

  10. 5 out of 5

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  11. 4 out of 5

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  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I really liked the resilience-based approach that this book takes. It covers the basics of many psychoactive drugs (stimulants, depressants, antipsychotics, psychedelics) including pharmaceutical, over the counter, herbal, and industrial formulations. What I don't like is that it seems like it is written for an early teenager to read, although I know zero teens who will want to read this book. I was hoping for more of an in depth perspective of how drugs affect our society, but instead was sligh I really liked the resilience-based approach that this book takes. It covers the basics of many psychoactive drugs (stimulants, depressants, antipsychotics, psychedelics) including pharmaceutical, over the counter, herbal, and industrial formulations. What I don't like is that it seems like it is written for an early teenager to read, although I know zero teens who will want to read this book. I was hoping for more of an in depth perspective of how drugs affect our society, but instead was slightly disappointed with a "what are drugs and how to take them safely" manual.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ruben Gonzalez

    Lots of valuable information, but doesn’t go very in depth on every chapter/section

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bennett Tomlin

    Way too simplistic

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daylynn Foster

    Finally had time to finish this book that I started years ago! Unemployed until further notice (Dental Hygienist) Gave me some new & valuable information even though it is an older book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aneeta Xavier

    The author didn't discuss sugar and chocolate in detail, which was the main reason why I wanted to read the book. Reading another perspective and cultural commentary was eye-opening. The author didn't discuss sugar and chocolate in detail, which was the main reason why I wanted to read the book. Reading another perspective and cultural commentary was eye-opening.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    Fascinating book. Everyone should read it. More information than any doctor would ever give you about the the truth of things.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Indispensable guide that should be required reading. I read it for work, but- like all of his books, in my experience- it feels flowing and accessible; enjoyable. Rarely lacking, and when it is, tons of alternate resources are given for further research.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    This book is incredible. With as much as I have read about mind-altering substances and their therapy, addiction, legal, and spiritual applications, it is becoming harder and harder to learn new things about some of these substances. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. The authors give a very straightforward, honest, no BS approach to talking about drugs and it is incredibly refreshing. While most of the information in the book is pretty basic, it is easy to understand and follow, even This book is incredible. With as much as I have read about mind-altering substances and their therapy, addiction, legal, and spiritual applications, it is becoming harder and harder to learn new things about some of these substances. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. The authors give a very straightforward, honest, no BS approach to talking about drugs and it is incredibly refreshing. While most of the information in the book is pretty basic, it is easy to understand and follow, even for younger or less educated readers in my opinion. It offers plenty of good advice for those thinking of experimenting with these substances, as well as a realistic picture of the risks an individual is taking on and the precautions they can take to stay safer. The only inaccurate detail I was able to find in the book is that the authors thing harmaline is the active component in ayahuasca, which, according to the authors, sometimes has DMT-containing plants thrown in. Harmaline is barely active on its own, as an MAOI, and serves to make DMT orally active, which is the main active component in ayahuasca according to every other source I have read. Not a huge oversight, although a pretty basic one, and probably doesn't take much away from the overall quality of the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone what would like an introduction to the wide world of psychoactive substances, and especially anyone who is thinking about experimenting with them. This book is very down to earth and to the point, and serves as a good basic manual for what you can expect with certain drugs and how to avoid risks as much as possible. I'm very impressed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    When it comes to teenage drug use "Just say no" and other "educational" propaganda programs don't work because they simely leave too many other questions unanswered. If saying no is the right thing to do, then why do so many people say yes? If drugs are so dangerous, then why do my friends who use drugs seem to be doing just fine? If only stupid people use drugs, then why does my friend who uses drugs socially still get straight As? If marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and I've tried marijuana When it comes to teenage drug use "Just say no" and other "educational" propaganda programs don't work because they simely leave too many other questions unanswered. If saying no is the right thing to do, then why do so many people say yes? If drugs are so dangerous, then why do my friends who use drugs seem to be doing just fine? If only stupid people use drugs, then why does my friend who uses drugs socially still get straight As? If marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and I've tried marijuana with no ill effects, then why shouldn't I try heroin too? This book, on the other hand, is truly educational and full of facts (both positive and negative) which answer those questions and more. This book doesn't talk down to the reader; it instead empowers the reader with the knowledge to make an informed, responsible decision. Regardless of whether that decision is to "say no" or to proceed with experimentation very cautiously, at least someone who has read this book will be armed with the correct facts to back up their decision with. This book is geared towards teens, but I think it should be read by all parents as well so they are able to speak intelligently about drug use with their children. The issue of drug abuse is a serious one and we do a grave disservice to our children when we give them a dumbed-down version of the truth in order to scare them away from activities we deem undesirable.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Just as Michael Pollan explains the profound relationship our species has with food, this book explores specific substances, both organic and synthetic, that that have been popular with many cultures. With regards to substances I had direct experience with, such as caffeine and chocolate, I found the information here about the biological impact of this organic substance enriching in a way I would have not understood before. In addition, it gives a general overview of the history of many substanc Just as Michael Pollan explains the profound relationship our species has with food, this book explores specific substances, both organic and synthetic, that that have been popular with many cultures. With regards to substances I had direct experience with, such as caffeine and chocolate, I found the information here about the biological impact of this organic substance enriching in a way I would have not understood before. In addition, it gives a general overview of the history of many substances. As I don't have much direct experiential understanding of many of the other substances described in this book, I was intellectually curious to know what that attractions are to them. For example, Freud was a heavy cocaine user. When one reads about the biological impact of that substance, one can see the direct impact it has on upon the author's work. This book also explains what creates a biological addiction with many of these substances that can lead to serious consequences. Although this book does not explore psychotropic substances with the depth of an author such as Stan Grof, the intention is more of a general overview. An excellent introduction for anyone curious about the subject.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ian Farragher

    Do you eat chocolate, drink coffee, coca-cola or alcohol, smoke cigarettes or (prescription -wink-) marijuana? It would be an accomplishment to find someone in America, nay the world, who hasn't once consumed any of these legal or quasi-legal substances. We alter our minds everyday by consuming substances. Even essentials like food, water or oxygen, change the way our minds behave. In my experience (which is extensive), it is much better to know what is happening in your mind and body, than to bl Do you eat chocolate, drink coffee, coca-cola or alcohol, smoke cigarettes or (prescription -wink-) marijuana? It would be an accomplishment to find someone in America, nay the world, who hasn't once consumed any of these legal or quasi-legal substances. We alter our minds everyday by consuming substances. Even essentials like food, water or oxygen, change the way our minds behave. In my experience (which is extensive), it is much better to know what is happening in your mind and body, than to blindly experiment. This amazing book not only covers the real facts about legal and illegal drugs, but also manages to maintain a almost completely unbiased tone. In the introduction the authors are very clear to state even though the two do not promote the use of drugs, people will experiment with them. Real information is better than propaganda in keeping people safe. 'From chocolate to morphine' accomplishes this an amazingly elegant way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Goddard

    An exhaustive account of those little substances that alter the way in which humans behave, think, perceive; that alter consciousness per se. Inevitable with a book of this type, about drugs, a topic with an unequivocal Chemistry and Science underpinning, there were some long and complicated looking names (most unpronounceable). The information itself was educational and, from what I could discern as a layman, authoritative. To pick just one interesting revelation, unbeknown to myself prior to r An exhaustive account of those little substances that alter the way in which humans behave, think, perceive; that alter consciousness per se. Inevitable with a book of this type, about drugs, a topic with an unequivocal Chemistry and Science underpinning, there were some long and complicated looking names (most unpronounceable). The information itself was educational and, from what I could discern as a layman, authoritative. To pick just one interesting revelation, unbeknown to myself prior to reading the book, is that second-hand smoke is more toxic than actually smoking a cigarette (I would like to explicate exactly why, however I've actually forgotten already).

  24. 5 out of 5

    leigh

    A pharmacist (who admits to taking the "labs before the lectures" in 60's S.F.) recommended this book to me because of my fascination with drug abuse and addiction. (We work in an urban hospital where drug-seeking patients are the norm.) I learned a fair amount from this book, and love the author's approach to teaching about drug use in a realistic way. Every drug you've never heard of is included. A pharmacist (who admits to taking the "labs before the lectures" in 60's S.F.) recommended this book to me because of my fascination with drug abuse and addiction. (We work in an urban hospital where drug-seeking patients are the norm.) I learned a fair amount from this book, and love the author's approach to teaching about drug use in a realistic way. Every drug you've never heard of is included.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fishface

    This is OK. The plus to this book is that Weil goes into lesser-known drugs, including psychoactive drugs like Haldol that nobody would dream of abusing; the oddity about it is that he gives advice on the best ways to use things like magic mushrooms and so on. Seemingly written for youn people thinking of trying drugs, he is clear that all of them are dangerous, but then goes on to tell you the best methods? Um, Andy? Hello?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This is probably one of the best overall books on the subject. In addition to the informative coverage of each drug group and subgroups of drugs, the general attitude is one of harm reduction. What better way to address substance use and consciousness altering than to acknowledge use and attempt to educate so as to reduce harm and increase intelligence about one's behavior and choices. This is probably one of the best overall books on the subject. In addition to the informative coverage of each drug group and subgroups of drugs, the general attitude is one of harm reduction. What better way to address substance use and consciousness altering than to acknowledge use and attempt to educate so as to reduce harm and increase intelligence about one's behavior and choices.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Reynolds-cuellar

    Great analysis of the prevalent presence of drugs in our society, and how to understand their role. The book explores how society has accepted substances such as coffee or chocolate that can have measurable effects in body and mind. One dimension that seems missing was a more in depth approach to drugs in other societies such as indigenous groups.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lemon.scented

    I must have the old school version of this book from 1983. My copy is ,of course, out of date but the premise is still the same. Make educated choices about the drugs, legal or illegal, that you ingest.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denis Farley

    This is a good reference for anyone considering legit or street/forest preparations, plants or fungi. I'm always interested in what the ingredients, effects, traditional uses and sources of the substances that fall into the category of food to drugs and the blurry world between. This is a good reference for anyone considering legit or street/forest preparations, plants or fungi. I'm always interested in what the ingredients, effects, traditional uses and sources of the substances that fall into the category of food to drugs and the blurry world between.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gerry

    Andrew Weil is Amazing. One of the Greatest Minds of our times. Why can`t we all find a Doctor like this ? He is always my Go-To guy in reference for Health and Nutriton related topics. Also a Professor at Harvard. I LOVE Dr. Weil. Andrew Weil is Amazing. One of the Greatest Minds of our times. Why can`t we all find a Doctor like this ? He is always my Go-To guy in reference for Health and Nutriton related topics. Also a Professor at Harvard. I LOVE Dr. Weil.

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