Illicit Drugs
by Richard E. Isralowitz and Peter L. Myers
January 2011, 235pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36566-9
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36567-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Some 20 million Americans, or 8 percent of the population of the United States aged 12 and older, use marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy, or other illicit drugs. The cost to our society is enormous—more than $300 billion annually for related expenses such as health care and treatment, social services, law enforcement, and losses due to crime.

This concise, up-to-date volume compiles information and materials documenting illicit drugs and their use from multiple perspectives.

Illicit drug use is a deeply embedded characteristic of most societies, resulting in illness, death, crime and violence, terrorism, imprisonment, property confiscation—and massive allocations of government resources. Illicit Drugs provides comprehensive information for those seeking to understand the nature and scope of this far-reaching problem, as well as major issues of concern and debate surrounding it.

Organized thematically, the book begins with an overview of illicit drug use and abuse, including its history and risk factors. The scope of illicit drug use in the United States is covered, including conditions that encourage the practice, costs, related policies and programs, and prevention and treatment considerations. The book looks at populations at risk, including children and youth, women, older adults, and racial and ethnic minorities. International aspects of illicit drugs, such as production, trafficking, and consumption are also examined.


  • A chronology of significant events, decisions, policies, and agreements about illicit drug use in the United States from 1872 to the present
  • Graphs and tables about illicit drug use patterns and problems
  • A world map depicting the distribution of problem drugs throughout the world
  • A glossary of key terms about drug use and abuse
  • A bibliography of significant reference materials addressing illicit drug use
Richard E. Isralowitz, PhD, is professor and director of the Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resources Center, Ben Gurion University, Israel. Dr. Isralowitz is the author of numerous books and publications on drug use and abuse. He is a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of a Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Peter L. Myers, PhD, is professor emeritus of addiction studies, editor of the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, and past president of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education. Dr. Myers is the author of numerous books and publications on drug abuse and he coauthored the national standards for the accreditation of addiction curricula in higher education.


"As an introductory volume, it provides a solid foundation and could serve as a platform for exploring the diverse concerns and controversies related to illicit drugs. It could be used as a primary text or as a recommended additional text in a variety of undergraduate courses in the health and human services areas. Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice, September 1, 2011

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