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The Clinician's Guide to Illicit Drugs and Health

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What are the effects of illicit drugs on health? How do these drugs affect the heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidneys and what if you're pregnant? Get the facts on illicit drugs and health with this book.


In this comprehensive book the authors examine the health effects of each of the major illicit drugs. All the major drug classes are covered: psychostimulants, opioids, cannabis, hallucinogens and ‘novel psychoactive substances’. Each chapter presents the epidemiology of use, user characteristics, dependence, drug toxicity, mortality, the effects upon each major organ system, and associated psychiatric morbidities.

The Guide is an essential reference for medical practitioners, physicians in training, nurses, treatment providers, researchers, behavioural scientists and the interested layperson. The authors have skillfully integrated an extraordinary amount of research to produce clear, evidence-based, guidance for a wide range of health and social care interventions.

The guide has an easy-to-follow structure that examines each major illicit drug class and focuses on its effects on the major organ systems: heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidney. Each drug class also has a section on pregnancy.

“As most illicit drug users take more than one drug type, we comment on the role of other substances, both licit and illicit, where relevant. In each chapter we present the patterns of use, user characteristics, dependence, drug toxicity and mortality” - Professor Darke.

"an extremely important educational resource." - Professor Robert West, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction


Book author(s) Shane Darke, Julia Lappin, Michael Farrell
Book genre(s) Drugs & Health, Guide, Medical
Total pages 268
ISBN-13 (Paperback) 9781912141111
ISBN-13 (PDF) 9781912141128


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