The book illustrates the contribution offered by psychology in understanding the phenomena connected with drug addiction and it objects, through experimental, clinical and epidemiological evidences, the reductive and simplified explanations still wide-spread in public opinion. It provides a clear outline of the different psychological processes involved, not only in the perception of the effects caused by taking drugs but mainly in the stages of the consumption career, from the beginning to its interruption. It analyses the different needs, of both adults and adolescents, to which drugs can be an answer. It examines the principal theories about a dependent or a non-dependent use of drugs. Finally it introduces the main strategies in treating drug addiction and also models adopted in the field of prevention.
Contents: Introduction. - 1. Encounter between drug and drug user. - 2. Diffusion of drugs: epidemiological and historical aspects. - 3. Psychological processes in use and abuse. - 4. Why people assume drugs? - 5. Theories on dependence. - 6. The interruption of dependence. - Trends and strategies in the field of prevention. References.
Marcella Ravenna is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Bologna and at the University of Ferrara.