Compact Research: Drugs Reviews

Bath Salts and Other Synthetic Drugs: ISBN 978-1-60152-516-1 / eBook: 978-1-60152-517-8
Diet Drugs: ISBN 978-1-60152-518-5 / eBook: 978-1-60152-519-2
Methamphetamine: ISBN 978-1-60152-520-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-521-5
Booklist, 2013

The ubiquitous assignment of a health report on drugs is made far easier by the Compact Research: Drugs series, which offers overviews of the manufacture, side effects, risks, and abuse of each group of drugs. Bath Salts and Other Synthetic Drugs describes the rise in use of these newer and perhaps lesser-known but potentially deadly drugs, as well as problems associated with elusive marketing and hard-to-track Internet sales. Diet Drugs gives a history of early weight-loss drugs in the U.S. and their increasing popularity with the rise of obesity. It also relates the controversial effectiveness of diet drugs and the problem of diet-drug fraud. Methamphetamine looks at the serious dangers of meth production and abuse and the difficulties in treating meth addiction and passing laws to regulate the drug. Backed by current facts, statistics, and first-person experiences, every chapter includes further documentation with concluding "Primary Source Quotes," from former addicts and law enforcement to health care workers and government officials. In this visual, by-the-numbers era, the series responds with end-of-chapter charts and graphs that display drug-related information. Additional back matter comprises lists of key people, advocacy groups, and related organizations; a bibliography; and a chronology. This series is the next go-to resource for drug-abuse research.

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.

Club Drugs: ISBN 978-1-60152-005-0 / eBook: 978-1-60152-291-7
Inhalants: ISBN 978-1-60152-015-9 / eBook: 978-1-60152-299-3
Cocaine and Crack: ISBN 978-1-60152-001-2 / eBook: 978-1-60152-175-0
School Library Journal, February 2008

Gr 9 Up Club Drugs and Inhalants pose questions about these substances-how they are harmful, how they affect society, and how they can be controlled or their use prevented. Cocaine speaks not only to addiction but also includes sections on punishments, treatment, and the war on the substance. Each title has an overview, primary-source quotes that clearly express varied opinions, glitzy statistical charts, and illustrations. Concepts covered include common street names, how the drugs affect the brain, and how they are ingested. Each volume ends with a list of key people and advocacy groups, a chronology of important trends and legislation related to a particular drug, and a list of related organizations. The purpose of the series is to cull information and organize it into a "compact, relevant, intelligent" format. While that goal is met, at times the books can be too simplified and repetitive and tend to spoon-feed readers.
—Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NY

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

Methamphetamine: ISBN 978-1-60152-004-3 / eBook: 978-1-60152-521-5
Booklist, April 15, 2008

Is methamphetamine use an epidemic? This title from the Compact Research: Drugs series considers that question along with the dangers of the drug, links between meth addiction and crime, and addiction prevention. Each chapter is followed by a “Facts and Illustrations” section that includes a page of bullet-point statements and several pages of information clearly presented on colorful, clearly labeled charts, graphs, and maps. “Primary Source Quotes” offers a series of quotes, from statements by doctors, journalists, and government officials to those of former addicts, with writers identified and the source references given below the quotes. Some students may find these sections useful as a way to identify places to look for “primary source” quotes for their papers, but the use of the statements out of context, frequently with words left out or inserted, takes these quotes a step or two away from what most teachers would consider primary sources. Back matter includes a chronology; source notes; lists of books, periodicals, and Internet sources; and annotated lists of key people and organizations.
—Carolyn Phelan