Recreational drug use is a world-wide phenomenon. Despite the best efforts of governments, the public fascination with drugs shows no signs of abating. With media accounts of illegal drug use often verging on the hysterical, this book provides a refreshingly balanced and honest account of drug use throughout the world, one based on scientific fact, and not dogma. The book examines all the drugs currently used throughout the world, looking at their effects and side-effects. Why do people use drugs? Why do they become addicted? What are the lessons to be learned from making drugs illegal? Updated for the third edition with chapters rewritten to take account of scientific, epidemiological and political developments since the second edition, and with a new section on the present and future US drug policy from high-profile contributors, the book provides a much needed rational approach to the problem of drug use.