This two volume set contains frank and factual information about symptoms, causes, effects, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse -- alcohol, nicotine, and drugs -- and of behavioral addictions such as eating disorders, pathological gambling, and compulsive sexual activity. Including the most up-to-date research, the addiction entries are based largely on criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Tracing the history of the debate over whether addiction is a choice or a disease, the volumes explain how genetic and biological findings support the disease concept while lifestyle choices affect the course of the disease. Graphics and discussions of the brain structures that support this self-reinforcing mechanism illustrate why treatments that obstruct the pathway are showing such promise.
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