Drug use is a major challenge for public services, healthcare professionals and policy-makers all over the world. This book offers a complete overview of the issues associated with substance misuse from an interdisciplinary perspective. It begins by providing a reference guide to the different psychoactive substances, looking at the biological and psychological impact of their use. Key issues in the effect drugs have on society are then addressed, before outlining methods of recovery and therapy. Chapters include: • Reflective questions to challenge readers’ assumptions • Case studies to help students understand the impact of substances on individuals • Links to further resources to expand readers’ knowledge It will be valuable reading for those studying on degrees in criminology, health, nursing, social work and counselling.

The Evolutionary Context

The Evolutionary Context
Aaron Pycroft

Complex systems are examples of evolution in process and since Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, our understanding of the ways in which evolution happens, and what this means for life in general has developed exponentially. Increasingly this approach is being used to understand human behaviour, and there is a growing body of literature which applies it to drug use and addiction and to the biopsychosocial paradigm (Lende and Smith, 2002). Evolution is primarily concerned with natural selection, and adaptation to environments, and has focused primarily upon genes as ‘replicators’ and thus the blue print for individual organisms.

In recent years there have been important developments in Darwinian medicine which is ‘seeking evolutionary explanations for the ...

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