Why a second edition of the Encyclopedia of Drugs and Alcohol? And why change the name to the Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior?

Consider a smattering of statistics:

• In 1999, 10.3 million people (4.7% of the American population) ages 12 years or older were dependent on illicit drugs or alcohol (National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1999)

• In 1998, it was estimated that approximately 19,000 alcohol-induced deaths occur annually in the United States (excluding those deaths due to motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol) (National Vital Statistics Reports, Murphy, 2000)

• In 1993, it was reported that 13,984 people were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents; 3,765 of these individuals had not been drinking themselves (Heien, 1996)

• In 1998, 16,926 deaths were attributed to drug-induced causes (National Vital Statistics Reports, Murphy, 2000)

• In 1998, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis ranked as the tenth leading cause of death in the United States (National Vital Statistics Reports, Murphy, 2000)

• Fetal alcohol syndrome affects one in every 600-750 births, and is currently the leading cause of mental retardation, beating out previous contenders such as Down syndrome and spina bifida (Abel,


• Economic costs to society related to alcohol and drug abuse were projected at nearly $246 million in 1992; projections for 1995 suggested that economic costs related to alcohol and drug abuse would reach over $276 million (National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

• Smokers ages 18-25 have a fourfold increased likelihood of illicit drug use compared to their nonsmoking peers; smokers ages 12-17 have a sevenfold increased likelihood of illicit drug use compared to their nonsmoking peers (1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)

• In 2000, the United States put together an emergency aid package to Colombia, totaling $1.3 billion, intended in part to address the issues of drug trafficking between Colombia and the United States (White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 2000)

• In 1999, the annual cost for problem and pathological gambling reached $5 billion, with lifetime costs projected at $40 billion associated with decreased productivity, social service costs, and creditor losses (Gerstein et al., 1999)

Drugs, alcohol, and addictive behaviors have enormous ramifications on a global scale, and include political, economic, legal, social, and public health issues, as well as family well-being and physical and psychological health. These ramifications can be studied as a macrocosm of the way in which the issues attendant to addictions affect every stratum of society, or collapsed down into the microcosm of misery visited on a single individual struggling to loosen the stranglehold of addiction.

The first edition of Macmillan's Encyclopedia of Drugs and Alcohol is an amazing compendium of information on the effects of addictions at every level. Drs. Jaffe, Anthony, Johanson, Kuhar, Moore, and Sellers and their team of experts put together an intelligently organized, complete survey of drug and alcohol addictions. Our task, then, was to respectfully update these articles to reflect the impressive amount of research performed over the five years since the publication of the original edition.

The newly renamed second edition, now called the Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior, retains the first edition's organizational format, but includes new and updated articles that address the exciting frontiers that have opened up in the field of addiction studies. New brain imaging techniques, an explosion of information about the human genome and its relevance to health, excellent efforts at data collection to define the scope and nature of the problem of addictions, and carefully designed studies aimed at uncovering the statistical relevance of various prevention, diagnosis, and treatment programs are all illuminating and igniting the process of understanding addictions. The encyclopedia's name change reflects acknowledgment that behaviors not involving chemical substances (such as pathological gambling) are being seriously and thoughtfully studied, and appear to involve some physiological and psychological pathways in common with those addictions involving chemical substances.

Far from being an esoteric consideration of theoretical concepts, research within the field of addiction studies quickly doubles back to benefit those individuals who are trapped in the mundane, nitty-gritty ugliness of an addiction. For this reason, and because issues within the field of addictions surely touch the lives of essentially every member of society, this second edition preserves the first edition's mission of providing information that will be useful, interesting, and accessible to nonspecialists seeking an understanding of addiction topics.

The second edition's editorial board (Drs. Kathleen Carroll, Jeffrey Fagan, Henry Kranzler, and Michael Kuhar) has been impressively dedicated in their efforts to produce this encyclopedia. Their expertise and guidance have been invaluable, as have the expertise and knowledge of the various writers who have contributed to this work. All of us who have worked on this encyclopedia have appreciated the forbearance of publisher Elly Dickason, senior editor Anne Davidson, and editor Amanda Quick. I wish to thank my husband, Toby, and my daughters, Anna, Emma, and Isabelle, for their patience as "the encyclopedia project" took its place in our family life.

Last, we wish to acknowledge with appreciation all of the researchers and academicians who continue to illuminate issues relevant to addiction, the professionals who work compassionately with those affected by addiction, and the many individuals who continue to reach for a life free of addiction's grip.

Rosalyn Carson-Dewitt, M.D.

Editor in Chief October 2000


Abel, E. L. & Sokol, R. J. (1986). Fetal alcohol syndrome is now leading cause of mental retardation. Lancet, 2, 1222. Gambling Impact and Behavior Study: Final Report to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. (1999).

Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago. Harwood, H., Fountain, D., & Livermore, G. (1998). The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: DHHS, NIH, NIH Publication no. 98-4327. Bethesda, MD. Heien, D. M. (1996). Are higher alcohol taxes justified? The Cato Journal, 15.

Murphy, S. L. (2000). Deaths: Final data for 1998. Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Vital Statistics Report, 48(11).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

(2000). Summary of findings from the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. (2000). Fact sheet: Presidential decision directive on the Colombia initiative: Increased U.S. assistance for Colombia.

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Alcoholism is something that can't be formed in easy terms. Alcoholism as a whole refers to the circumstance whereby there's an obsession in man to keep ingesting beverages with alcohol content which is injurious to health. The circumstance of alcoholism doesn't let the person addicted have any command over ingestion despite being cognizant of the damaging consequences ensuing from it.

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