Drugs Without the Hot Air
Minimising the harms of legal and illegal drugs

By David Nutt

Drugs Without the Hot Air
Click here to see ebook versions available
Published: 31st May 2012
ISBN: 9781906860400
PDF, 368 pages
Published: 31st May 2012
ISBN: 9781906860608
Category: All Books

Winner of: Transmission Prize for the Communication of Ideas 2014 Highly Commended, Popular Medicine, British Medical Association awards   From health to family to society, this informative exploration takes an evidence-based view of all the factors involved in drug use. Applying the same objective criteria to legal and illegal substances, an argument is made that legality is not a clear measure for harm. Tackling a variety of questions, such as Which is more harmful—Ecstasy or alcohol? Can addiction be cured? and Does the "War on Drugs" have serious unintended effects that can hurt children?, this analysis equips readers with the ability to make educated decisions regarding drugs both personally and in their communities. Broadening the scope of the discussion, a framework is explored for formulating national drug policies that will minimize a myriad of harms—social, medical, criminal, financial, and environmental.


1 Why I had to write this book

2 Is ecstasy more dangerous than horse riding?

3 How can we measure the harms done by drugs?

4 Why do people take drugs?

5 Cannabis, and why did Queen Victoria take it?

6 If alcohol were discovered today, would it be legal?

7 “Meow meow” – should mephedrone have been banned?


8 What is addiction? Is there an “addictive personality”?


9 Can addiction be cured?

10 Cocaine – from chewing to crack

11 Why was smoking banned in public places?

12 Prescription drugs

13 Can drugs improve performance?

14 Psychedelics – should scientists try LSD?

15 The War on Drugs, and drugs in war

16 The future of drugs

17 What should I tell my kids about drugs?

"A refreshingly clear-eyed work. Anyone looking for a calm and objective overview of the drugs available in Britain would do much better to read Professor Nutt’s book than to believe what they read in the papers, or what they hear from the lips of government ministers."

- The Economist

"Nutt is both committed to rigorous, evidence-based policy and to clear, no-nonsense prose that makes complex subjects comprehensible. [...] a book that everyone should read."

- Cory Doctorow Boing Boing

"There's an inherent danger in any sector of education: if the teachings fail to measure up to the truth, then we'll be paving the way for a deep distrust and a greater apathy. With this in mind, it is of tremendous enthusiasm that we welcome Professor Nutt's book: Drugs - Without the Hot Air"

- Jason Reed Huffington Post

David Nutt is Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, but is best known as 'the scientist who was sacked' by the UK's Home Secretary because he compared the harms of horse-riding with taking ecstasy or cannabis.

He was Chair of the ACMD's Technical Committee for seven years, and became chairman of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in 2010.

Publication Details:

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9781906860400
Format: EPUB

Binding: Electronic book text, 368 pages
ISBN: 9781906860608
Format: PDF

BISAC Code:  MED023000, MED057000, SCI086000, SEL013000
Imprint: UIT Cambridge Ltd.

Other visitors also viewed:
Drugs without the hot air
Sustainable Energy - without the hot air
The Exim SMTP mail server
Alternative DNS Servers
Pass the Bike Test (and be a great rider too!)