Drugs without the hot air
Making sense of legal and illegal drugs

By David Nutt

Drugs without the hot air
Paperback, 448 pages £12.99
Published: 1st September 2021
ISBN: 9780857844989
Format: 198mm x 129mm

Click here to see ebook versions available
Published: 16th January 2020
ISBN: 9780857844958
Published: 16th January 2020
ISBN: 9780857844972
Published: 16th January 2020
ISBN: 9780857844965
Category: All Books, Popular Science, Without the hot air ®

Series: without the hot air

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The dangers of illegal drugs are well known and rarely disputed, but how harmful are alcohol and tobacco by comparison? What are we missing by banning medical research into magic mushrooms, LSD and cannabis? Can they be sources of valuable treatments?

The new expanded and revised second edition of Drugs without the hot air looks at the science to allow anyone to make rational decisions based on objective evidence, asking:
•What is addiction? Is there an addictive personality?
•What is the role of cannabis in treating epilepsy?
•How harmful is vaping?
•How can psychedelics treat depression?
•Where is the opioid crisis taking us?

For list of the URLs cited in the book please click here.


Chapter 1. Why I had to write this book

Chapter 2. Is ecstasy more dangerous than horse riding?

Chapter 3. How can we measure the harms done by drugs?

Chapter 4. Why do people take drugs?

Chapter 5. Cannabis, from the medicine of Queens to public enemy number one?

Chapter 6. Synthetic cannabinoids – the problem of “spice”

Chapter 7. If alcohol were discovered today, would it be legal?

Chapter 8. “Meow meow” – should mephedrone have been banned?

Chapter 9. What is addiction? Is there an “addictive personality”?

Chapter 10. Can addiction be cured?

Chapter 11. Cocaine – from chewing to crack

Chapter 12. Why was smoking banned in public places?

Chapter 13. Vaping and snus – to vape or not to vape?

Chapter 14. Prescription drugs; the US opioid crisis

Chapter 15. Can drugs improve physical and mental performance?

Chapter 16. Psychedelics, and their use in treating depression

Chapter 17. The War on Drugs, and drugs in war

Chapter 18. NPS – novel psychoactive substances

Chapter 19. The future of drugs

Chapter 20. What should I tell my kids about drugs?

I don't think you could ask for a more sensible, clear-eyed, and useful book about drugs, from the ones your doctor prescribes to the ones your bartender serves you to the ones you can go to jail for possessing. Nutt is not just a great and principled campaigner, nor merely a talented and dedicated scientist - he's also a superb communicator.

- Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

There’s a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and research to dig into here but thanks to Nutt’s direct, no nonsense writing style the book also serves as a masterclass in science communication.

- BBC Science Focus magazine

Drugs with the Hot Air is the perfect book for anyone who wants to understand drugs, their risks and benefits. David avoids all the prejudices and misinformation, common in too many documents in this field. He writes simply. He is a pleasure to read.

- Baroness Meacher, House of Lords

We've long been in the grip of extraordinarily destructive drugs policies. There is no better guide to how to get out of this mess than David Nutt. Written by one of the most distinctive voices in the field, Drugs Without the Hot Air offers the basis for a pragmatic, science-based drugs policy. From alcohol and smoking, cannabis and crack, to the contemporary opioid epidemic, Nutt punctures the myths and tells it like it is. A manifesto and a must-read.

- Tim Newburn, Professor of Criminology & Social Policy, LSE

Engaging, informed, contemporary and wise: David Nutt's new edition will inform anyone touched by the myriad psychoactive chemicals we call drugs. That's everyone.

- Peter B Jones, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge

The amazing Professor David Nutt has done it again. The must-read second edition has even more drugs and even less hot air!

- Prof Val Curran, Director UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit

Drugs without the hot air is a highly readable and informative survey of the current state of play on recreational drug use and abuse by one of our leading clinical psychopharmacologists. David Nutt confronts the many controversial issues concerning both legal and illegal drug use, including its political regulation, with a combination of common sense, evidence-based argument and passion.

- Trevor Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Professor Nutt takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the history and science of psychoactive substances – legal and illegal – and explores the disconnect between the science and policy. He effectively tackles media scare stories deconstructing the evidence and challenging dominant narratives around drugs. Most importantly Professor Nutt highlights the damage done by the War on Drugs and considers alternative approaches to reduce the harms of the illicit drugs trade. This book is for anyone interested in learning about drugs and drug policy - it is accessible, engaging, thought-provoking and there is definitely not a hint of hot air.

- Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director of Release, Centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law

A clear and reasonable perspective on a complicated and controversial area from an expert unafraid of talking sense to power about addictive drugs, legal or illegal.

- Ed Bullmore, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge and Author of “The Inflamed Mind”

Professor David Nutt is the most trusted drug scientist in the world. In Drugs Without the Hot Air, he demonstrates that this distinction is well earned. He makes a compelling case for removing the hysteria and political rhetoric from discussions of drug policy, so that we might pursue a more rational, evidence-based approach. This is one of the most comprehensive treatments of the subject. You won’t be the same after reading it.

- Carl Hart, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University and author of 'Drug Use for Grown-Ups'

David Nutt is a psychiatrist, the Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology in Imperial College London and chair of DrugScience. The Times Eureka science magazine voted him one of the 100 most important figures in British Science.

Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 448 pages
ISBN: 9780857844989
Format: 198mm x 129mm

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857844958
Format: EPUB

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857844972
Format: Kindle

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857844965
Format: PDF

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

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