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Science addicitonCarlton K Erickson
WW Norton & Company, £22.99

The second edition of The Science of Addiction provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to learn more about this area plus in-depth information for professionals. An expert in his field, author Carlton K Erickson introduces various fundamental concepts, from the stigmas associated with addiction, the molecular biology and pathways associated with addiction, and current treatments.

He also states that we shouldn’t be using the word ‘addiction’ as much as we are: ‘addiction’ to computer games or fatty foods is demonstrably not the same as disastrous physical and mental dependence on addictive substances, and only serves to promote misunderstanding about the condition.

This insightful and illustrative text has particularly engaging chapters on alcohol, the world’s most common addiction. Erickson not only discusses the scientific background, he also incorporates much socio-political thoughts in to the text that other authors might not. The abundance of information is well written and formatted in an easy-to-read manner, and benefits from a pedagogical approach to learning. If only I had had this book for my degree.

Callum Tebbatt