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The Encyclopaedia of Psychoactive Substances
ISBN 031219868X / 9780312198688 / 0-312-19868-X
Publisher St Martins Pr
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What's in that "smart drink," exactly? The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances gives up the goods on well over 100 drugs, plants, and animals capable of altering mood and thought. From ergot to Ecstasy, author Richard Rudgley provides in-depth ethnographic and historical information on past and current use, as well as the changing social attitudes toward this motley assortment of fun-loving chemicals. While short on pharmacological and scientific information--this is no PDR--The Encyclopedia is wildly entertaining and informative about the actual use and meaning of psychoactives.
Did you know there are species of hallucinogenic fish? That ants have been used in vision quests? That barbiturates were named for St. Barbara? The book pulls together little-known facts from a variety of literature and produces cohesive, well-documented entries equally well suited to the student and the browser. Rudgley focuses more on naturally occurring substances than lab creations, but the big synthetics like LSD, PCP, and cocaine all get fair coverage as well. The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances is a welcome and much-needed resource for the intrepid psychonaut. --Rob Lightner [via]