Compact Research: Drugs Reviews

Marijuana: ISBN 978-1-60152-160-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-371-6
Oxycodone: ISBN 978-1-60152-161-3 / eBook: 978-1-60152-372-3
Booklist, February 15, 2012

According to the foreword, the books in the Compact Research: Drugs series "focus on three types of information: objective single-author narratives, opinion-based primary source quotations, and facts and statistics." What this translates to on the page is an overview of the topic and an in-depth chapter-by-chapter discussion of the points raised in the overview. Marijuana looks at questions such as whether marijuana is a dangerous drug, whether it should be legalized, and the most pressing dilemma: Should the drug be readily available for medical use? The narrative is filled with so many qualifiers ("many people believe"; "some people say") that it seems to envelop all sides of the debate. Meanwhile, statements like "some people believe [Bob] Marley's marijuana use contributed to the brain cancer that killed him" add to the vagueness. Still, there is a lot to think about here, especially for readers who may have a personal or academic interest. In Oxycodone, the formula works to good effect, though it is a tad longwinded, and some of the information (such as how it is known as "hillbilly heroin") is repeated. Among the questions discussed are the health dangers of the drug and its legitimacy in medical use, government regulation of the drug, and how oxycodone abuse can be prevented. Those looking for report information will find all their answers here. The attractive format, with plenty of color photographs and charts, enlivens the information. Excellent back matter includes source notes, names of advocacy groups and organizations, and sites for further information.

Methamphetamine: ISBN 978-1-60152-004-3
Heroin: ISBN 978-1-60152-002-9
Marijuana: ISBN 978-1-60152-000-5 School Library Journal, May 2007

Gr 8-10 These conveniently organized, user-friendly volumes cater to reluctant readers and feature objective overviews; large-type primary-source quotes; and a number of brightly colored maps, charts, and graphs. Berne explores whether methamphetamine usage in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions, its dangers, the link between addiction and crime, and abuse prevention. Egendorf cites the dangers of heroin and addresses abuse prevention, the effectiveness of treatments, and whether its use should be decriminalized or legalized. Nakaya covers marijuana-related health issues, the drug's effect on society, and legalization issues including medicinal usage. End matter is above average with source notes, related organizations, a chronology, and an annotated listing of key people and advocacy groups. Since many series titles cover similar information in a similar format on all three drugs, purchase to update or fill holes in collections.
—Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI