Addiction to methamphetamine.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Sharma, Manoj
Pub Date: 08/01/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education Publisher: American Alcohol & Drug Information Foundation Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Psychology and mental health; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 American Alcohol & Drug Information Foundation ISSN: 0090-1482
Issue: Date: August, 2010 Source Volume: 54 Source Issue: 2
Topic: NamedWork: Methamphetamine Addiction: Biological Foundations, Psychological Factors, and Social Consequences (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Halkitis, P.N.
Accession Number: 236247807
Full Text: Halkitis, P. N. (2009).

Methamphetamine addiction. Biological foundations, psychological factors, and social consequences.

Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[ISBN 978-1-4338-0423-6; $79.95]

In recent years several books have been written exclusively on methamphetamine; for example, Braswell (2006), Lee (2006), Owen (2007), Roll, Rawson, Ling, & Shoptaw (2009), and Weisheit & White (2009). The growth of these books has paralleled the growth of methamphetamine abuse in the United States. The book being reviewed is among the latest of these books on methamphetamine. The focus of this book is on presenting a biopsychosocial perspective on methamphetamine addiction. The author of the book has an impressive background in research with regard to drugs.

The book is divided into 11 chapters. The book begins with a Foreword and a Preface. The first chapter is about socio-historical contexts and epidemiological patterns of methamphetamine. In this chapter the data has been presented from various sources and is up-to-date and accurate. The figures used in the chapter are quite illustrative such as the figure pertaining to effects of methamphetamine, bar graph from National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report, etc. The second chapter is about the chemistry and biology of methamphetamine use. Once again the figures used are quite helpful in explaining the subject matter. The section on methamphetamine and the dopamine system is particularly well written.

The third chapter pertains to illegal production of methamphetamine in the United States. Methamphetamine is different from many other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana that originate from outside the country. Methamphetamine is largely manufactured illegally in the United States. The chapter does a good job in explaining how this drug is manufactured in illegal labs. The fourth chapter discusses the bio-psychosocial consequences of methamphetamine addiction. The chapter is quite detailed and discusses the cardiovascular effects, neurological complications, cognitive deterioration, psychiatric consequences, effects on oral and dental health, and immunological effects of methamphetamine.

The fifth chapter discusses the effect of methamphetamine on sex, sexuality, and sexual risk taking. Sections in this chapter discuss effects of methamphetamine on sexual behavior in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as in heterosexual men and women. The sixth chapter is about motivations and antecedents of methamphetamine use. In this chapter the biological and medical bases along with mental health and social bases of methamphetamine are explored. The author uses current studies to establish these linkages.

The seventh chapter is about treatment considerations for methamphetamine addiction. A large number of drug treatment admissions in the United States are due to methamphetamine addiction. The chapter presents several modalities of treatment such as cognitive-behavioral approaches, matrix model, motivational interviewing, contingency management, 12-step approaches, and medication approaches. The eighth chapter is about prevention approaches to address methamphetamine. The work on Montana Meth Project in rural America and Crystal Meth Working Group based in New York City are presented in this chapter. Also discussed are federal initiatives and drug education curricula in schools along with a discussion on role of fear tactics in addressing this problem.

The ninth chapter discusses working with methamphetamine addicted clients in medical settings. The issues of patient assessment, laboratory and office testing, harm reduction, and management of acute intoxication are discussed. The tenth chapter discusses working with methamphetamine addicted clients in mental health settings. The chapter presents some interesting clinical case studies. The final chapter is about future directions for research and practice in the area of methamphetamine. The author identifies three main areas of emphasis: (a) understanding methamphetamine adhering to a bio-psychosocial model; (b) treating methamphetamine employing a "total health" model; and (c) preventing methamphetamine paying special attention to the period of emergent adulthood between 18-25 years of age.

On the whole, this is an excellent monograph on methamphetamine. The photographs, graphs and other figures that have been provided throughout the book make it an interesting read. This book would be particularly useful for researchers and practitioners working in the area of methamphetamine prevention, treatment, or research. This book can also have applicability in graduate classes that focus exclusively on understanding methamphetamine.


Braswell, S. R. (2006). American meth. A history of the methamphetamine epidemic in America. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.

Lee, S. J. (2006). Overcoming crystal meth addiction: An essential guide to getting clean. New York, NY: Marlowe & Company.

Owen, F. (2007). No speed limit: The highs and lows of meth. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.

Roll, J. M., Rawson, R. A., Ling, W., & Shoptaw, S. (2009). Methamphetamine addiction: From basic science to treatment. New York: The Guilford Press.

Weisheit, R., & White, W. L. (2009). Methamphetamine: Its history, pharmacology, and treatment. Center City, MN: Hazelden.

Review by Manoj Sharma, University of Cincinnati
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.