Dr. Carl Hart discusses his book, High Price
"Dr. Hart (neuropsychopharmacologist, Columbia Univ., research scientist, New York State Psychiatric Instit. Div. of Substance Abuse) presents a refreshing new analysis of drug use that reveals how common misconceptions are far too often not based on empirical evidence. Hart blends his own story of experimentation with drugs as a teenager with his empirical insights into the relationship between drugs and pleasure, factors that motivate the use of drugs, and the power of choice. He also reveals new ideas regarding the common association of racial characteristics with drug abuse, the impact of poverty on the use of drugs, and an important, new understanding of why current national drug abuse policies continue to fail. His relatively surprising research results reveal how incorrect common warnings are about how drug abuse can ruin a person's life. Drawing on his successful rise out of poverty and drug abuse in his dysfunctional family, Hart directed much of his research into how some drug users have managed to succeed in life, supporting his view that much of what is now being done in current drug education, treatment, and policy is inconsistent with scientific research results.
VERDICT: Hart manages to add to the voluminous drug abuse genre a radically new approach that is thought-provoking and that will certainly stimulate controversial opinions, especially among the drug abuse treatment profession. He succeeds in presenting an interesting blend of personal memoir with a critical analysis of why drugs and drug users are shunned, the role racial policies have played in this perception, and how these misperceptions have resulted in current drug fighting approaches he views as counterproductive. Hart's personal life experience adds credibility to this important work on substance abuse that is essential for all university libraries supporting treatment curriculum and treatment professionals."
--Library Journal Advanced Reviews
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