* Is drug abuse a disease? * What causes drug abuse? * How can drug abuse be best prevented or treated? This concise and comprehensive overview unravels the complexities surrounding the definition, cause and treatment of drug abuse. The authors set out the different classes of drugs of abuse, distinguish drug use from abuse, and consider whether or not drug abuse should be seen as a disease. They go on to examine other compulsive behaviours, such as eating disorders and pathological gambling, for their similarities and differences from drug abuse, and detail current methods of assessing drug abuse. Numerous extra-personal and intra-personal predictors of drug use and abuse are examined, including drug distribution systems, and biological factors, as well as social psychological factors. Finally, the authors present the wide spectrum of current prevention and treatment programmes and discuss future directions in the prevention and cessation of drug abuse. This book takes an international approach and provides vital information on key issues, presenting its material from a social psychological perspective, but drawing on work in public health, clinical psychology and sociology. Each chapter provides a summary and tables to help the reader integrate the information. It will prove invaluable not only to undergraduate and postgraduate students, but to counsellors, researchers, and policy makers.