I am an emeritus professor of psychology, retired from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. I have written a textbook on substance use disorders, published by Cambridge University Press. The book will be available in the United Kingdom in September and in the United States in December. The book is entitled Substance use disorders: A biopsychosocial perspective. The book emphasizes the behavioral aspects of substance use disorders, although with the biopsychosocial view of the disorders the topics of genetics, brain function, and personality and other co-occurring disorders are also covered. The book will be of interest to professors who teach courses on substance use disorders to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The following abbreviated outline provides further information.
Organization of the book
Chapter One introduces the biopsychosocial concept of substance use disorders (SUD) and describes research methods used to investigate SUD. Chapter Two describes the diagnosis of SUD, including use of diagnostic criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. Chapter Three presents the disease theory of addiction, including the benefits and limitations of this explanation of the disorder. Chapters Four and Five present basic information from neuroscience relevant to SUD. Chapter Four summarizes psychopharmacological principles of how psychoactive drugs affect brain function. Chapter Five describes current theories of how drug-produced changes in brain function contribute to addiction.
Chapters Six, Seven and Eight present findings about the causes of and risk factors related to SUD. These origins of the disorder include abnormal brain function, genetic factors, psychiatric and developmental factors, as well as processes such as reinforcement, learning and inhibition that control behavior in general and also give rise to compulsive drug use. Chapters Five through Eight identify the essential components of a biopsychosocial explanation of substance use disorders. Chapter Nine describes the harmful effects of alcohol, a drug with widespread use in many cultures. Although alcohol has moderate addictive potential, its heavy use damages and shortens lives of many who are not addicted. Chapters Ten through 15 describe SUD for specific drugs of abuse, including risk factors, the course of the disorder and the adverse consequences. Chapter 16 describes how many individuals suffering from SUD stop compulsive and destructive drug use, either with or without the assistance of health-care professionals.