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Recommended Reading

This is a list of books that should be of interest to readers of this site. Most of the books have a direct relationship to drugs, but some do not. Of this subset, some have fairly obvious relation, like books about the law and law enforcement while others less clear--like the books about general psychology. I have read all of these books, and I can attest to the fact that they are valuable. I haven't (like too many sites) just listed books related to the subject at hand. There are many, many books that could have been placed here which are simply not worth your while. I believe that you cannot go wrong by reading any of these books.

Heroin certainly is a fascinating subject! Drug Books

A Primer of Drug Action
by Robert M. Julien, M.D., Ph.D (W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, 1996).
Despite its cover advertisement, this is a fairly technical introduction on how drugs work on the body. After discussing the nervous system and drugs in general terms, the book discusses all of the major drug classes and how they act on the body. This is a very informative book.
Physician's Desk Reference, 53rd Edition
by Ronald Arky and others (Medical Economics Company, Montvale, NJ, 1999).
This is the standard "pill" book. You may find others more readable. If you are technically minded, this is the one to get. Unfortunately or fortunately, it is heavily steeped in the industry's emphasis on brand names and product manufacturers. There are a lot of pill references; shop around and find the one that works for you.
Licit & Illicit Drugs
by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports (Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1972).
This book has a lot of good history in it and it debunks the idea that heroin is a dangerous drug. Just the same, the authors believe that "once and addict, always and addict" and so recommend methadone maintenance. Remember that when this book was written, no one had really studied ex-addicts. So all of the data came from the very worst addicts who, not surprisingly, were destined to continue on in this addictions. Other than this issue, however, this is a wonderful book.
The Encyclopedia of Drug Abuse
by Robert O'Brien, Sidney Cohen, Glen Evans, and James Fine (Facts On File, New York, 1992).
This book is really good to have if you want to be able to find out what a drug does (and so forth) but you are intimidated by more scientific works. There is a lot of information packed into this book. The only down side can be seen in its title: Drug Abuse. The authors think that drug use is bad but this does not blind their science which is mostly first rate.
Cocaine Handbook: an essential reference
by David Lee (And/Or Press, Inc., Berkeley, California, 1981).
This is as close as I've come to the present book but for cocaine. If you are using cocaine, this is a good book to have. But note that it is still anti-drug-use.

Heroin Books

Little Book of Heroin
by Dr. H (Ronin Publishing, Inc, Berkeley, CA, 2000).
This book is an overview of heroin rather than a user's guide like the Heroin User's Handbook. As such, it has more information about the science of heroin. It makes a good companion to Heroin User's Handbook, but there is much cross-over.
Opium for the Masses
by Jim Hogshire (Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, WA, 1994).
Hogshire provides an excellent introduction to the opiates. This will be of interest to anyone interested in heroin.
Little Book of Opium
by Dr. H and The Helper (Ronin Publishing, Inc, Berkeley, CA, 2003).
This book gives a lot more information about the science of opium than Hogshire's book. It has detailed discussions of cultivation and pharmacology. It is an excellent companion to the Hogshire book.
Medical Readings on Heroin
by Oliver E. Byrd and Thomas R. Byrd (Boyd & Fraser Publishing Company, 1972).
This is a collection of summaries of medical papers on heroin use and abuse. It is old but it still contains most of the important information on diseases related to heroin use.
"It's so good, don't even try it once": Heroin in perspective
edited by David E. Smith (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1972).
This is a collection of essays about heroin. It all focuses around the 1970 heroin scene but it provides some interesting insights into the many aspects of heroin use.
Flowers in the Blood: The Story of Opium
by Dean Latimer and Jeff Goldberg (Franklin Watts, New York, 1981).
This is a great overview of opium, especially its history. It is somewhat out of date in terms of its science, but it is well worth reading just for the history.
Heroin User's Handbook
by Dr. H (Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, WA, 2000).
This was a labor of love. It covers almost everything a heroin user might need to know about this drug. It is also invaluable as an insider's look at the life of a heroin user. If you have a loved one who is a heroin user, this book will give you a good idea of just how hard his life is.
Addicts Who Survive
by David Coutright, Herman Joseph, and Don Des Jarlais (University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN, 1989).

Detox Books

How to Get Off Drugs
by Ira Mothner and Alan Weitz (Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, 1984).
You will find a lot of interesting material on getting and staying off drugs in this book, but be aware of its conservative assumptions about drug addiction. It is still a good book to read.
The Small Book
by Jack Trimpey (Dell Publishing, New York, 1992).
Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction
by Jack Trimpey (Simon & Schuster, 1996).
Trimpey presents a rational approach to getting past drug addiction. Unlike NA, there is a scientific basis of Rational Recovery. Either book works as an introduction to Rational Recovery. If you have been forced to go to 12-step meetings and you really hated it, you might find The Small Book more fun to read. Otherwise, Rational Recovery is a better introduction. If you feel the need for a support system, start with Rational Recovery or SMART Recovery. I recommend NA to people, only as a last step when everything else has failed. These books are also good for people who love someone with a substance abuse problem because they put the blame where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of the user. There is no "enabling" and "co-dependent" nonsense here.
Heroin Addiction: Theory, Research, and Treatment: The Addict, the Treatment Process, and Social Control
by Jerome J. Platt (R. E. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida, 1995).
Platt wrote three heroin addiction books, mostly focusing on methadone. All of his knowledge is put together in this revised version. The book provides an excellent overview of the literature on the issue of heroin addiction. Be careful to distinguish the facts from the conclusions Platt has a tendency to play a little fast and loose with his conclusions--stating them as fact. However, for the serious student, this is the book you start with. After digesting this book you will be able to draw your own conclusions, which will be as valid as anyone's (and more valid than most's).

History & Politics Books

The Birth of Heroin and the Demonization of the Dope Fiend
by Th. Metzger (Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, WA, 1998).
This is an excellent history of the opiates which dispels many myths and explains how we got to our current, troubling cultural situation. It is also a fun read. It is filled with surprising facts like the huge amount of beer the "Puritans" brought with them to the new world and the founder of the AFL linking opium with Chinese immigrants because of the threat they posed to "native" laborers who were not as productive. It has an unfortunate cover, but it is a wonderful book.
Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State
by Richard Lawrence Miller (Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, 1996).
This book is so frightening and accurate that it will make you want to leave the country. It is a perceptive look at how illegal drug users are treated in the United States and why they are treated so. Do you ever feel like you're living in Germany in 1938? You should, and Miller shows why. A book that goes well with this one (although it has nothing to do with drugs) is The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff (Plume, New York, 1995).
The American Disease
by David F. Musto, M.D. (Oxford University Press, New York, 1987)

Medical & Psychology Books

Please Understand Me II: Temperament Character Intelligence
by David Keissey and Marilyn Bates (Promethean Nemesis, Del Mar, California, 1998).
This book provides a very readable introduction to the theory of psychological types. It will give you a useful model that you can apply to interactions with other humans (and cops).
Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition
edited by Robert Berkow (Pocket Books, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 1999).
This is the best disease book I've found. It is detailed and inexpensive.
Drug, set, and setting: the basis for controlled intoxicant use
by Norman Earl Zinberg (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1984).
When I first discovered Zinberg's work I felt that I had been exonerated. Many people had told me that it was impossible to use heroin casually. Zinberg shows that there were many such users. He also shows what users do in order to control their use.
Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control
by Stanton Peele (Jossey-Bass, Hoboken, NJ, 1989).
This book blows the lid off the idea that addiction is a disease. It can be very helpful in putting drug addiction into perspective and making you feel less like some sick creature who will always walk around with a monkey on his back.
The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice (7th Edition)
by Sandra M. Nettina and others (Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia, 2001).
Truthfully, this book is a bit much. It contains far more information than you would ever need, but there is no better source for information on the proper procedures for things like intravenous injection. You might try looking for simpler (and smaller and cheaper) nursing texts; these may suit you as well.

Legal Books

Mad At Your Lawyer
by Attorney Tanya Starnes with Arthur G. White and Jennifer A. Becker (Nolo Press, Berkeley, 1996).
If you are ever in the unfortunate position of needing a lawyer, you will learn why lawyers are some of the most hated people. Most likely, you will pay a large amount of money for almost nonexistent defense. This book shows you what to do if you are mad at your lawyer, but more important, it shows you how to get the right lawyer for you and how to make the best use of him.
A Speeder's Guide to Avoiding Tickets
by James M. Eagan (Avon Books, New York, 1999).
Although it may seem odd to put this book in this collection, I have yet to find another book that comes close to to this book in providing insights into the motivations of cops. Perhaps because the author was a cop, he pulls no punches. Although the book is overall pro-cop, it is a very worth while read for anyone, because, as the title indicates, everyone will have to deal with a cop at one time or another.
Thinking Cop, Feeling Cop: A Study of Police Personalities
by Stephen M. Hennessy (Leadership Inc. Publishing, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1995).
This guy seems to think that cops are just ordinary people and so he has applied normal psychology to them. This is very useful but I think more insights would be gained by applying abnormal psychology. This is a good book to combine with Please Understand Me II: Temperament Character Intelligence.
You Are Going To Prison
by Jim Hogshire (Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, WA, 1994).
There is no doubt that every heroin user should own and study this book. It guides you through the process of being arrested right through to frying in the electric chair. I wish I had read this book before I had my legal problems.
Controlled Substances: Chemical & Legal Guide to Federal Drug Laws
by Alexander T. Shulgin (Ronin Publishing, Inc, Berkeley, CA, 1992).
This book is a little out of date but there is no book like it. It lays down the U.S. drug laws in a clear and coherent manner.

My Books

Little Book of Heroin

Heroin User's Handbook

Little Book of Opium

Little Book of Heroin Heroin User's Handbook Little Book of Opium

by Dr. H © 2002