Drugs & the Human Body

Prentice Hall
Ken Liska  
Total pages
July 2008
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For undergraduate courses in Chemistry, Biology, Sociology, Criminal Justice and Health and Drug Education.


In this reliable reference, Liska addresses the effects of high-use, high-abuse drugs in America in a timely and straightforward fashion. Up-to-date research is reflected throughout, including coverage of street, over-the-counter, and prescriptive drugs. The Eighth Edition explores changing trends in personalized drug therapy and highlights the World Wide Web as a primary source of drug information. The presentation is accessible to the non-science major, yet comprehensive enough for the practicing professional.


  • Carefully selected Web sites (URLs) - Included for student browsing, found in the text and at the end of each chapter.
  • Drugs in Sports” - A topic now of major importance in America and throughout the world.
  • Women's Health Issues - Shows students the unique drug responses that apply to women, and how to obtain information from government sources.
  • The history of drugs - Enables students to see the evolution of drugs and drug therapy, putting new information in an historical context.
  • Several dozen case histories - All are real-life scenarios, ranging from an LSD trip to potheads to a failed diet plan.
  • Tables based on governmental DAWN data - Offer students up-to-date facts on drugs: where, what, and when.
  • End-of-chapter questions - Stimulate students' fact-finding skills, and encourage classroom discussions about current topics.
  •  “Structure-Activity Relationships”:
    • Provides a challenging study of structure-activity relationships of fourteen pharmacological classes of drugs.
    • Teaches students about chemical parts of molecules that engender pharmacological response.
    • Presented in Appendix I.

New to this Edition

  • Extensively revised coverage of drug discovery (Ch. 2):
    • Includes major additional information on proteomics, and pharmacogenomics,
    • Highlights the importance of these topics in the context of personalized drug treatment.
  • Emphasis on growing reliance upon the World Wide Web as a source of drug information.
  •  All new DAWN data along with NIAAA, SAMHSA, and National Household Surveys.
  •  More data on:
    • AIDS drugs
    • children's drugs
    • alcohol abuse
    • counterfeit drugs
    • drugs in sports, with coverage of the U.S. Antidoping Agency
    • the marijuana-in-America controversy.
  •  Enhanced treatment of women's health issues - Also brings many women's issues and topics together in Chapter 1.
  • New case histories.
  • New end-of-chapter questions.
  • New, highly relevant websites - Included for student browsing, found in the text and at the end of each chapter.

Table of Contents

NOTE: Each chapter ends with Web Sites and Study Questions.

 1. The Magic Bullets.

 2. Where Drugs Come From.

 3. Federal Laws: The FDA and Drug Testing-Penalties for Illicit Use.

 4. What Happens to Drugs After We Take Them.

 5. Drugs at the Synapse.

 6. Narcotic Analgesics: Opiates and Opioids.

 7. Cocaine, Amphetamines, Caffeine, Nicotine, and Other Stimulants.

 8. The Barbiturates: Battered But Still Here.

 9. Alcohol and 100 Million Americans.

10. The Major and Minor Tranquilizers.

11. Marijuana.

12. Hallucinogens, Street Drugs, Designer Drugs, Club Drugs, Predatory Drugs, and Some Observations.

13. The Pill: An Update.

14. Non-Steroidal, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, Ketoprofen, Fenoprofen, and Celebrex and Vioxx.

15. Additional OTC Drugs and Chemicals.

16. Personal Drug Testing.

17. Drugs in Sports.

Appendix I: Structure-Activity Relationships (SARs).

Appendix II: Answers and Discussion: Understanding Alcoholism.

Appendix III: DAWN Data Summary.

Appendix IV: The Scientific Method.

Appendix V: Glossary.



Ken Liska earned a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Illinois and is a licensed pharmacist in that state.  He taught college and university-level chemistry courses for 37 years.  For 18 years his course, Drugs and the Human Body, drew hundreds of students at San Diego Mesa College.  His scientific publications are in the areas of synthetic anti-cancer compounds and LSD analogs.  Liska is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Drug Education and Awareness.  He lives in San Diego with his wife, Paula Meta Hoenecke Liska.  

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