Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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392 pages
6 x 9 inches
November 2019
Print ISBN: 9781773381602


The second edition of the formerly titled Just Say Know: A Counsellor’s Guide to Psychoactive Drugs, this indispensable counselling resource provides a practical understanding of psychoactive drug pharmacology and physiology. Rick Csiernik unpacks the risks and therapeutic applications of the most commonly used and misused drug families, including depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and psychotherapeutics. This new edition features a wide range of updated research and content addressing the recent rise of opioid, fentanyl, cannabis, novel psychoactive substances, and antipsychotic medication use, as well as the impacts of drug use on sleep and mental health. Two new appendixes are featured summarizing the effects of drugs on pregnancy and interactions drugs may have with certain brain chemicals.

The Essential Guide to Psychoactive Drugs in Canada is the perfect addition to any addiction or mental health-related course. User-friendly and highly readable, this resource serves as a guide for service providers to deliver evidence-based care. This text is crucial for counsellors, therapists, instructors, and students looking to acquire an in-depth practical understanding of drug use, medication, and addiction in disciplines such as social work, sociology, pharmacology, health studies, nursing, psychology, and addiction studies.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Pharmacological Principles

1.1 Understanding Addiction
1.2 Psychoactive Drug Groups
1.3 The Costs of Psychoactive Drug Use
1.4 The Nervous System
1.5 Pharmacokinetics
1.6 Pharmacodynamics
1.7 Sleeping and Dreaming

Chapter 2 Depressants

2.1 Sedative-Hypnotics
2.2 Antihistamines
2.3 Inhalants, Solvents, and Anaesthetic Gases
2.4 Alcohol
2.5 Opioids

Chapter 3 Stimulants

3.1 Cocaine
3.2 Amphetamine and Methamphetamine
3.3 Methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta)
3.4 Anorexiants
3.5 Decongestants
3.6 Khat (Qat)
3.7 Methylendioxypyrovalerone (Bath Salts)
3.8 Betel/Areca Nut
3.9 Nicotine
3.10 Caffeine

Chapter 4 Hallucinogens

4.1 Hallucinogens
4.2 LSD-Like Hallucinogens: Indolealkylamine
4.3 Mescaline-Like Hallucinogens: Phenylethylamines
4.4 Dissociative Anaesthetics: Arylcycloalkylamines
4.5 Cannabis
4.6 Novel Psychoactive Substances

Chapter 5 Psychotherapeutic Agents

5.1 Antidepressants
5.2 Antipsychotics
5.3 Mood Stabilizers

Appendix A: Which Neurotransmitters Does a Psychoactive Drug Alter?

Appendix B: Summary of Effects of Psychoactive Drug Consumption During Pregnancy




Instructor Resources

See sample

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