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From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  542 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
From Chocolate to Morphine is the definitive guide to drugs and drug use from one of America’s most respected and best-known doctors. This enormously popular book — the best and most authoritative resource for unbiased information about how drugs affect the mind and the body — covers a wide range of available substances, from coffee to marijuana, antihistamines to psychedel ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 9th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 1983)
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Kerry
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
So, this book is amazing and everyone should be required to read it. Boviously that will never happen.

The differences between drug use and drug abuse are discussed. The bulk of the book consists of information on many (all?) types of mind-altering drugs: where it came from, how it's used and by whom, how it's abused, how it can be used responsibly. It was so . . . mind-bending to read that it's okay if you use cocaine or amphetamines on occasion, just don't overdo it. (As always, though, stay th
...more
Roman
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Found this book (1988 edition) at a sidewalk book sale for $2. It gives an overview of how different psychoactive substances (from chocolate to marijuana and psychedelics to opiates and stimulants) affect the mind and body. Written before Dr Weil became a household name it also includes suggestions for users to follow if they want an optimal experience and/or remain un-addicted. The facts are presented in a matter-of-fact manner and Weil tries to remain impartial and objective. Some of his sugge ...more
Oswald
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a very informative book. The authors explain the effects of almost every major drug that most people use, including over the counter drugs that people are addicted to. What I did not like about the book was that the information on some of the drugs was rather brief and left me wanting more information. On the other hand, at the end of each chapter the author contributes a list of books on each of the drugs, which I will definitely read.

The authors also leave a positive message about th
...more
Emily
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Fantastic straight forward information about legal and illegal drugs. Very unbiased approach to dispel common myths related to drugs and present the facts. The book is written for a teen to young adult reader so it's very easy to understand. Book focuses heavily on understanding the difference between drug use and drug abuse. It urges the reader that if they decide to experiment with drug use, how to use the drugs as safely as possible to best avoid addictions, complications and abuse.

The autho
...more
Eire Boudicca
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Weil and Rosen were decades ahead of their time in their liberal views and focus on harm reduction. While these views are much more widely accepted these days, 1983 was the start of an era of punitive and abstinence-based approaches to drug use. While this book did not affect the approaches of legal systems and public drug education, I am sure that it lent a more informative, balanced, and non-hysterical view for many teens (and adults!) personally reading it. It would have been nice if From Cho ...more
Joanna
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this book... what I liked most about it though, was not so much the writing style nor the information (although the information is great), but the paradigm shift that it created for me. Weil seems to believe that drugs are neither necessarily "good" nor "bad." What makes them either add to the quality of, or create havoc in, your life is your relationship to them (and with that established, he goes on to talk about different drugs, one by one - their characteristic ...more
Frank Jude
This is yet another book that has been languishing on my shelves and which I've finally gotten to and read. And, though I think Weil has often gone a bit too far in his 'alternative/complementary' approaches to medicine (to the point of pseudo-science) this early book of his co-written with Winifred Rosen walks a very rational and balanced line.

The first few chapters, Weil and Rosen take the time to explain "What Is a Drug?" as well as "Why People Use Drugs" and the various "Relationships with D
...more
Elizabeth
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
I really liked the resilience-based approach that this book takes. It covers the basics of many psychoactive drugs (stimulants, depressants, antipsychotics, psychedelics) including pharmaceutical, over the counter, herbal, and industrial formulations. What I don't like is that it seems like it is written for an early teenager to read, although I know zero teens who will want to read this book. I was hoping for more of an in depth perspective of how drugs affect our society, but instead was sligh ...more
Ruben Gonzalez
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of valuable information, but doesn’t go very in depth on every chapter/section
Cheryl
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Indispensable guide that should be required reading. I read it for work, but- like all of his books, in my experience- it feels flowing and accessible; enjoyable. Rarely lacking, and when it is, tons of alternate resources are given for further research.
Rose
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible. With as much as I have read about mind-altering substances and their therapy, addiction, legal, and spiritual applications, it is becoming harder and harder to learn new things about some of these substances. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. The authors give a very straightforward, honest, no BS approach to talking about drugs and it is incredibly refreshing.

While most of the information in the book is pretty basic, it is easy to understand and follow, even
...more
Betsy
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
When it comes to teenage drug use "Just say no" and other "educational" propaganda programs don't work because they simely leave too many other questions unanswered.

If saying no is the right thing to do, then why do so many people say yes? If drugs are so dangerous, then why do my friends who use drugs seem to be doing just fine? If only stupid people use drugs, then why does my friend who uses drugs socially still get straight As? If marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and I've tried marijuana
...more
Kevin
Sep 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as Michael Pollan explains the profound relationship our species has with food, this book explores specific substances, both organic and synthetic, that that have been popular with many cultures. With regards to substances I had direct experience with, such as caffeine and chocolate, I found the information here about the biological impact of this organic substance enriching in a way I would have not understood before. In addition, it gives a general overview of the history of many substanc ...more
Ian Farragher
Jun 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Do you eat chocolate, drink coffee, coca-cola or alcohol, smoke cigarettes or (prescription -wink-) marijuana? It would be an accomplishment to find someone in America, nay the world, who hasn't once consumed any of these legal or quasi-legal substances. We alter our minds everyday by consuming substances. Even essentials like food, water or oxygen, change the way our minds behave.

In my experience (which is extensive), it is much better to know what is happening in your mind and body, than to bl
...more
Troy Harrskjold
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Counselors, Teachers, Parents
Recommended to Troy by: No one
This book is no BS book about illegal drugs. If you using drugs, curious about drugs or know someone who is using drugs. Then this book is for you. A lot of Theocrats and over protective parents would have this book burned because it tells you how to take Psycho-active drugs safely. However, it also tells of the dangers, potential for addiction, effects, accidental overdose info, etc. This book could have saved lives it was circulated well in the 60's and 70's especially. Dr Weil is a reknowned ...more
Scott Goddard
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exhaustive account of those little substances that alter the way in which humans behave, think, perceive; that alter consciousness per se. Inevitable with a book of this type, about drugs, a topic with an unequivocal Chemistry and Science underpinning, there were some long and complicated looking names (most unpronounceable). The information itself was educational and, from what I could discern as a layman, authoritative. To pick just one interesting revelation, unbeknown to myself prior to r ...more
leigh
Dec 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
A pharmacist (who admits to taking the "labs before the lectures" in 60's S.F.) recommended this book to me because of my fascination with drug abuse and addiction. (We work in an urban hospital where drug-seeking patients are the norm.) I learned a fair amount from this book, and love the author's approach to teaching about drug use in a realistic way. Every drug you've never heard of is included.
Fishface
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-health
This is OK. The plus to this book is that Weil goes into lesser-known drugs, including psychoactive drugs like Haldol that nobody would dream of abusing; the oddity about it is that he gives advice on the best ways to use things like magic mushrooms and so on. Seemingly written for youn people thinking of trying drugs, he is clear that all of them are dangerous, but then goes on to tell you the best methods? Um, Andy? Hello?
Pedro Reynolds-cuellar
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: society
This book is among the best analysis of drugs' presence in our society and how to understand their role. The way this book build awareness about how legally and societally accepted substances such as coffee or chocolate can affect body and mind performances is really good.
I would have appreciated a more in depth approach to drugs in other societies such as indigenous groups.
As a first introduction into the field is a very good reading.
Craig
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is probably one of the best overall books on the subject. In addition to the informative coverage of each drug group and subgroups of drugs, the general attitude is one of harm reduction. What better way to address substance use and consciousness altering than to acknowledge use and attempt to educate so as to reduce harm and increase intelligence about one's behavior and choices.
yippeedoodas
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fantastic balanced reference guide on mind altering substances ranging from the legal to illegal. I like that it presents the positives and negatives & explains how to avoid any bad relationship if you choose to take any of the substances.
Gerry
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Andrew Weil is Amazing. One of the Greatest Minds of our times. Why can`t we all find a Doctor like this ?
He is always my Go-To guy in reference for Health and Nutriton related topics. Also a Professor at Harvard.
I LOVE Dr. Weil.
...more
Denis Farley
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a good reference for anyone considering legit or street/forest preparations, plants or fungi. I'm always interested in what the ingredients, effects, traditional uses and sources of the substances that fall into the category of food to drugs and the blurry world between.
Lemon.scented
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I must have the old school version of this book from 1983.
My copy is ,of course, out of date but the premise is still the same. Make educated choices about the drugs, legal or illegal, that you ingest.
Mandy
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-ten
Excellent and unbiased take on today's drugs, both over the counter and black market. Also, some amazing perspectives on how to talk to your kids about drugs-helped me straighten out some of my biases for the future.
Meghan Britz
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Gives reliable information without being biased or throwing in the 'preaching towel'. Weil approaches each topic in a mature manner and gives great insight and helpful advice for those that might be interested in exploring for themselves.



Beth
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested
Excellent book, drugs, medicines, herbs from an historical, cultural, medical perspective. Weil is both a Botanist and Md. Co-written by Winifred Rosen.
Tim Cusmano
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, teachers, politicians
Fairly balanced look at common mid-altering drugs, though a bit dated. A good book for parents and teachers.
Thom
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A primer for anyone interested in altered states of consciousness.
Kelly
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
i love this man
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Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is the author of many scientific and popular articles and of 14 books: The Natural Mind, The Marriage of the Sun and Moon From Chocolate to Morphine (with Winifred Rosen) Health and Healing, Natural Health, Natural Me ...more