by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
Alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, and opiates have had a varied and ambiguous legal and political history prior to the 21st century, and these substances will continue to need study, examination, policy, and law-making into the 21st century and beyond. Dwight Vick and Elizabeth Rhoades have written Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century: Theory, Behavior, and Policy (ebook) Rochelle Cade offers a review of the book in Counseling Today.
“Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century is an electronic textbook that examines the collective response to substance abuse, abuse and addiction in America and how this has influenced previous and current national policy. Dwight Vick and Elizabeth Rhoades capture the complexity of creating and implementing an effective response to drugs and alcohol by exploring three major policy options: criminalization, legalization, and harm reduction. readers are made aware of the contexts and systems, such as health care and criminal justice, and other factors, including morality, religion, and race, that influence public policy…The text concludes with the authors’ argument that a rational substance abuse policy is needed, taking into consideration demand for some level of intoxication, cost of strict prohibition, relative risk of drug, market system and the federal system.”
The book also offers an attachment, Appendix C: Alcohol and Drugs in the Movies, which provides titles and brief descriptions of more than 100 movies with content about drugs or alcohol. This would be useful to course instructors looking for a movie clip to enliven class lectures and might even offer ideas for essayists and reviewers who would examine a longitudinal perspective of how alcohol and drugs have been depicted by Hollywood.
This ebook may also be a harbinger of how college students will use books in the future. Although this ebook carries an ISBN number, there is no printed edition. It can be “purchased”, i.e. used for 180-days, for $34.95. Readers can highlight and take notes and print off up to 10 pages at a time.
This ebook might be an especially helpful companion text to courses such as Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology, as it offers information on policy that goes beyond the categorical information in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV of the American Psychiatric Association.