Prof David Nutt was appointed chairman of the UK Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), in 2008. In 2009 he published an editorial in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, comparing the harms caused by horse-riding with the effect of taking ecstasy or cannabis. As a result of this and other comments on the harms caused by legal and illegal drugs, he was sacked by the then Home Secretary.
InDrugs - without the hot air, Prof Nutt puts the case for an evidence-based scientific approach to drugs. In straightforward languages for the lay person, he explains what drugs are, how they affect the body and the mind, and why people take them and get addicted to them. He shows how we can quantify the overall harms of a drug, addressing issues from direct danger of death, through to environmental, financial and family factors, to obtain a true indication of the overall effect of a drug. Then, working from the facts, he recommends how society ought to address drugs and drug-taking, to minimize the harms at every level.
About the Author
David Nutt is professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Academy of Medical Sciences, the president of the British Neuroscience Association and vice-president of the European Brain Council. He was Chair of the ACMD's Technical Committee for seven years, and became chairman of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in 2010.
"There's an inherent danger in any sector of education: if the teachings fail to measure up to the truth, then we'll be paving the way for a deep distrust and a greater apathy. With this in mind, it is of tremendous enthusiasm that we welcome Professor Nutt's book: Drugs - Without the Hot Air" -- Jason Reed * Huffington Post *
a refreshingly clear-eyed work. Anyone looking for a calm and objective overview of the drugs available in Britain would do much better to read Professor Nutt's book than to believe what they read in the papers, or what they hear from the lips of government ministers. -- The Economist
"Nutt is both committed to rigorous, evidence-based policy and to clear, no-nonsense prose that makes complex subjects comprehensible. [...] a book that everyone should read." -- Cory Doctorow * Boing Boing *
1. Introduction 2. Is ecstasy more dangerous than horse riding? 3. How can we measure the harms done by drugs? 4. Why do people take drugs? 5. Cannabis, and why did Queen Victoria take it? 6. If alcohol were discovered today, would it be legal? 7. Should mephedrone have been banned? 8. What is addiction? Is there an "addictive personality"? 9. Can addiction be cured? 10. From chewing to crack 11. Why was smoking banned in public places? 12. Am I addicted to Valium, Doctor? 13. Can drugs improve performance? 14. Should scientists try LSD? 15. Drugs and war 16. The future of drugs 17. What should I tell my kids about drugs?