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Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment

Edited by Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., Erin Zerbo, M.D., and Rashi Aggarwal, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-512-3
  • Item #62512

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Ambivalence, poor adherence to treatment, serious psychiatric and medical comorbidities—the difficulties posed by patients of substance use disorders are among the most challenging for practitioners to face. Given that only 10% of patients with these disorders actually receive specialized addiction treatment, it's clear that physicians in all medical and surgical specialties need to become comfortable assessing and treating substance use disorders.

The Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment is designed specifically to aid a wide range of clinicians, regardless of their training in addiction, to more confidently assess and treat this patient population.

The book's practical, actionable content is divided into three sections—Fundamentals of Addiction, Substances and Behaviors, and Treatment—that address topics including:

  • The neurobiology of addiction
  • How to recognize and treat intoxication, withdrawal from, and addiction to substances such as alcohol, anabolic-androgenic steroids, benzodiazepines, cannabis, opioids, stimulants, and tobacco, as well as hallucinogens, inhalants, and caffeine
  • Special issues with psychiatric and medical comorbidities, as well as with specific populations
  • Behavioral addictions, with a special focus on gambling disorder
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy; 12-step programs; nutrition and exercise; spirituality, mindfulness, and meditation; and other treatment options, with examples of how each can be used with patients facing addictions

With an accessible, easily referenced format, the Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment serves as a go-to resource for general psychiatrists, internists, family practitioners, pediatricians, emergency medicine physicians, psychiatric nurses, residents, medical students, and other practitioners involved in the addiction treatment field. And because all of the diagnostic discussions are DSM-5–based, readers can be confident that they're getting the most relevant and up-to-date guidance on the topic.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • PART I: Fundamentals of Addiction
  • Chapter 1. Neurobiology of Addiction: From Reward to Relief: The Complex Neuroadaptations Underlying Addiction
  • Chapter 2. Addiction Assessment Across Settings of Care: Approaches for the Twenty-First-Century
  • Chapter 3. DSM-5 Diagnosis and Toxicology
  • PART II: Substances and Behaviors
  • Chapter 4. Alcohol
  • Chapter 5. Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
  • Chapter 6. Benzodiazepines
  • Chapter 7. Caffeine
  • Chapter 8. Cannabis
  • Chapter 9. Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs
  • Chapter 10. Inhalants
  • Chapter 11. Opioids
  • Chapter 12. Stimulants
  • Chapter 13. Tobacco
  • Chapter 14. Behavioral Addictions: Focus on Gambling Disorder
  • PART III: Treatment
  • Chapter 15. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Chapter 16. Relapse Prevention
  • Chapter 17. Motivational Interviewing
  • Chapter 18. Twelve-Step Programs and Spirituality
  • Chapter 19. Mindfulness and Mentalization
  • Chapter 20. Diet and Exercise
  • Index


    Jonathan Avery, M.D.
    Nauman Ashraf, M.D.
    Timothy Koehler Brennan, M.D., M.P.H.
    Tshering Bhutia, M.B.B.S.
    Faye Chao, M.D.
    Adam Demner
    Emily Deringer, M.D.
    John Douglas, M.D.
    Mirela Feurdean, M.D.
    Timothy Fong, M.D.
    Sandi Frank
    Bernadine Han, M.D., M.S.
    Grace Hennessy
    Abigail J. Herron, D.O.
    Vicki Kalira, M.D.
    Cheryl A. Kennedy, M.D.
    Michael A. Ketteringham, M.D., M.P.H.
    Sonya Lazarevic, M.D., M.S.
    Annie Levesque, M.D.
    Lindsay Lynch
    Shaojie Han, M.D., M.S.
    C. Alexander Paleos, M.D.
    Douglas Opler, M.D.
    Alisa L. Riccardi
    J. David Stiffler, M.D.
    Maryn Sloane, M.D.
    Alex Zaphiris, M.D., M.S.

About the Authors

Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Chief of Service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

Erin Zerbo, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.

Rashi Aggarwal, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.

Written in an engaging, straightforward style, the Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment provides easily accessed yet comprehensive information on all clinically important aspects of addiction. Whether at the bedside or in the office, any health care practitioner will find in this guide a quick, pertinent path to crafting an immediate treatment plan for their patients with substance use disorders or behavioral addictions.—Andrew J. Saxon, M.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director, Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program, University of Washington, Director, Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE), VA Puget Sound Health Care System

In summary, the Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment is an excellent guide for the medical student, resident, practitioner, and others involved in the addiction treatment field. Although it is not meant to be a textbook, it also serves as an excellent review for someone wishing to refresh themselves with a particular topic regarding substances, fundamentals of addiction, and treatment.—Lon R. Hays, M.D., M.B.A.

The editors of this book have in my view achieved most of their stated purpose. They have produced a concise yet broad ranging treatment of the topic of addiction, but it does require readers to have at least a degree of assumed knowledge. In that regard, one could speculate that part of their stated target group, medical students and allied health readers, might find the density of the writing off-putting.

This is a 335-page book which can physically fit in to a back pocket, but other than the introductory chapters, will lend itself more to use as a reference for specific topics, and reside on a bookshelf. An Australian readership is unlikely to find the statistics regarding US drug use patterns and prevalence of assistance.

Having aired those reservations about the complete achievement of the editors' ambitions, I would still recommend this book as a reference, a very useful addition to the medical library of Australian health practitioners. Its strengths outweigh its limitations. I would suggest that for medically trained readers its value would be obvious in emergency departments, detoxification centres, general practice and to general practice registrars.—Ken Hazelton, Orange, Australia, Drug and Alcohol Review, 05/31/2017

This pocket book is one of many such clinical quick reference guides. It is fairly comprehensive and well organized, making accessing information easy. It is well suited to the lab coat pocket of medical students, residents, fellows, and other healthcare providers with limited knowledge or experience treating this patient population.—Michael Easton, M.D., Doody's Book Review

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