Abstract and Keywords
Substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs) have been documented in a number of cultures since the beginnings of recorded time and represent major societal concerns in the present day. The chapters in this Handbook review a number of different areas of inquiry into the fundamental nature of substance use and SUDs, their features, their causes, their consequences, their course, their treatment, and their prevention. It is clear that understanding these various aspects of substance use and SUDs requires a multidisciplinary perspective that considers the pharmacology of drugs of abuse, genetic variation in these acute and chronic effects, and psychological processes in the context of the interpersonal and cultural contexts. This chapter provides a general overview of most (but not all) of the topics covered in the Handbook, guiding the reader to the relevant chapters that address each topic in more detail.
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