The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances

The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances

Richard Rudgley


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For all those who might like to believe that drug use has been relegated to the suburban rec rooms and ghetto crack houses of the late twentieth century, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances offers shocking, yet thoroughly enlightening evidence to the contrary. In fact, from Neolithic man to Queen Victoria, humans have abused all sorts of drugs in the name of religion, tradition, and recreation, including such "controlled substances" as chocolate, lettuce, and toads.

From glue-sniffing to LSD to kava, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances provides the first reliable, comprehensive exploration of this fascinating and controversial topic. With over one hundred entries, acclaimed author Richard Rudgley covers not only the chemical and botanical background of each substance, but its physiological and psychological effect on the user. Of particular value is Rudgley's emphasis on the historical and cultural role of these mind-altering substances. Impeccably researched and hugely entertaining, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances will appeal to anyone interested in one of the most misunderstood and yet also most widespread of human activities - the chemical quest for an altered state of consciousness.


Richard Rudgley:

Richard Rudgley studied social anthropology and religious studies at the University of London, and went on to study ethnology and prehistory at Oxford. He is currently based at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, undertaking research into the prehistoric and ancient use of psychoactive plants. In 1991 he became the first winner of the British Museum Prometheus Award, which resulted in the publication of his first book, The Alchemy of Culture: Intoxicants in Society. He is married with a daughter and a son and divides most of his time between London and Oxford.