Title: Living with Drugs, seventh edition
Author: Michael Gossop
Reviewer: Paul Watson, Head of Child Development, Marshland High School
What was it like?
Living with Drugs claims to be a well-respected and indispensable reference tool, I am sure that this is truly the case for some who pick it up to use. However, I found it rather too wordy to consider it to be a reference tool, but rather a history lesson into the subject of drugs. While I found it well written with great content, I did not find it easy to use as a “tool”. I wasn’t able to just pick it up and thumb to a certain page to give a specific answer to a given question. Even though most of the answers were available, I found myself having to digest vast amounts of text to get to many of the answers I sought. This edition has been updated to take account of new laws and practices that have come in to place since the previous edition, published in 2007, and is written in an accessible style, providing a balanced perspective. It is a text that I will use when teaching in class, but only in support of my lessons. It will however, be a great book to have for any professional who is working in this field, needing answers to questions.
What were the highlights?
The book is full of great detail on many different aspects of “drugs”, which I am sure will go a long way to assisting many practitioners in their duties.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This book describes itself as a “reference tool”, although I struggle to see how this is actually the case. The contents page is only twelve items long and the “list of tables” only has two tables listed in it! Using the index provides quite a good list of items to look up. This then presents the issue that the answer to the question that you are looking for, might be embedded in a chapter of text that does not directly answer the question you have.
I do believe that this is a informative, well written book that will be of use to specialists with an interest in “drugs”. It is not however a reference tool to be used by a practitioner needing an answer to a question to give to a client or student.
Who should read it?
This book is suitable for non-specialists in training, such as student nurses and social workers and for anyone with an interest in this complex, ever-present and emotive issue; those who want to improve their own knowledge over time, not those who need to disseminate new knowledge quickly and simply.