The author has organized basic, core information on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of chemical dependence into a readily understandable format. His approach teaches the physician what steps to take from a practical point of view: how to prevent addiction in the first place, how to diagnose the condition, how to aid the family get the addict into treatment, and how to increase the chances of long-term recovery. The book is divided into three sections. The first section covers basic definitions and concepts. The second section describes the pharmacology of the various psychoactive substances: depressants, opioids, stimulants, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, phencyclidines, and inhalants. The third section discusses chemical dependence in special groups: women, adolescents, the elderly, ethnic minorities, dual diagnosis patients, HIV- positive patients, and impaired physicians.