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Win. Lose. Repeat: My Life As A Gambler, From Coin-Pushers to Financial Spread-Betting

: Chris Stringman

Chris Stringman gambled, and lost £130,000, destroying his savings, losing his car and almost his house, but he managed to escape his addiction just before he fell over the precipice.  This is not a book about how to win, rather a book about how not to lose – essentially a self-help book for the delusional gambler.   The author explores the gambling industry in a way that hasn’t been done before.  His personal demon was spread-betting and much of the book is focused on that industry.  He explains how it operates, how it sucks gamblers in and keeps them there.  He goes on to look at high-street bookies, fruit machines, casinos, poker and bingo.  He also looks at how and why we gamble.   Full of humour throughout and written in an accessible style, the book sets out to entertain as well as educate.  Stringman has produced a handbook for both the gambling addict and those who see it as ‘just’ an innocent hobby.  He gives practical guidance on how to escape the clutches of gambling and how to spot the signs in others.   Chris Stringman is originally from England.  He has worked as a teacher and is currently living with his family in Germany. Read more…

Control the Controller: Understanding and Resolving Video Game Addiction

: Ciaran O'Connor

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Drug Use and Cultural Context: Tradition, Change and Intoxicants Beyond ‘the West’

: Coomber, Ross ; South, Nigel

Throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries, considerable research, policy and media attention has focused on drug use in Britain, wider Europe, the USA and other advanced ‘western’ societies such as Australia and Canada. However the place of drugs in other cultural contexts has received far less attention. Both academics and policy makers need to broaden their horizons and, in particular, any prospects for the development of a better informed international drug control policy must take a more comparative approach. Studies of drug use in differing contexts and among diverse groups can question many strongly held assumptions about both drugs and drug use. Extreme levels of intoxication with various hallucinogens, substances regularly condemned in the West as essentially harmful and divisive for society, are often utilised in other societies in ritual and religious fashion to in fact enhance cohesiveness and bolster traditional practice. Other forms of drug use, whilst not necessarily essential to the cohesiveness of the society in which they are used, can be shown to be a significant aspect of what constitutes the general fabric of the culture of particular groups or a broader society. What is clear is that not all drug use that is demonised in the West can be shown to necessarily produce the same problems elsewhere. As the chapters in this volume by Ross Coomber and Nigel South demonstrate, the problems that do emerge are as much about the influence of western politics, economics and definitions as they are about the dangers inherent within the use of any particular drugs. However little is known about the use of drugs in non-western societies and this lack of comparative knowledge hinders a broader understanding of drug use, the way problems are attached to it and the nature of inappropriately applied social and regulatory policies. This book examines drug use (including alcohol) in different cultural contexts, showing how the claim of tradition can persist even while the impetus toward change is pervasive. In some cases, change is strongly resisted; in others its’ effects are profound and potentially highly destructive. Read more…

Police, Drugs and Community

: Collison, Mike

Drawing on rich ethnographic data gathered by observing a force level drug squad at work, Mike Collison’s book deals with the strategic, cultural and political effects of contemporary drug policing and sets them against a broader canvas. Collison argues that current approaches to drug law enforcement endemically produce and reproduce failure, meanwhile realising undesirable forms of policing in a democratic society. Read more…

The Alcohol Report

: Plant, Martin; Cameron, Douglas

“The Alcohol Report”, edited by Martin Plant and Douglas Cameron sets out to provide, in non-technical terms, a considered, authoritative and informative review of some of the key topics likely to interest those with a serious interest in the facts about alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. In addition, it is hoped that “The Alcohol Report” will be helpful to a wide range of people whose work is likely to bring them into contact with drinking and “problem drinking”. “The Alcohol Report” should also be of interest to those with personal experience of alcohol problems, the drinkers themselves, their friends and family members. The topics covered in this book include the negative and positive effects of alcohol, the effects of heavy drinking during pregnancy, reasons why alcohol problems develop, national and international trends in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems, the economics of the alcohol market and the costs of alcohol problems, harm minimization strategies, health promotion, treatment, support and counselling for problem drinkers. The latter include both “conventional approaches” such as psychologically-oriented treatments and home detoxification, together with complementary therapies. Read more…

Working with Drug Family Support Group

: Lockley, Paul

To date, professionals who work with drug users have given greatest emphasis to counselling the users themselves, to the exclusion of others with whom they may be involved, in particular their families who themselves may be experiencing great amounts of distress. This book introduces the reader to the setting up and running of a drug support group and illustrates the underlying approach of providing mutual support for everyone involved. Using many practical examples, Paul Lockley takes the reader, step by step, through the establishment and life of a support group, and the work it entails. In the process of examining the life and work of the group, attention is given to aspects such as group attendance, development, difficulties and assessment. Read more…

Comparative Treatments of Eating Disorders

: Miller, Katherine; Mizes, J Scott.

This volume edited by Katherine Miller, and J Scott Mizes addresses the treatment of eating disorders from the perspective of nine experts, each representing a specific treatment modality from psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal psychothedrapy and the Adlerian approach, to developmental systemic feminist therapy, self-psychology therapy, integrative cognitive therapy, cognitive analytical therapy, and family therapy. Read more…

Alcohol: Minimising the Harm

: Plant, Martin; Single, Eric & Stockwell, Tim

Alcohol-related problems constitute a major cause for concern at local, national and international level. This presents a non ideological and pragmatic review of the effectiveness of key strategies designed to achieve a significant reduction in levels of problem drinking. These strategies are described and critically assessed by some of the world’s leading authorities on the use of alcohol and its related problems. Harm Minimisation distinguishes itself from attempts to reduce the harmful consequence of drinking in situations where drinking can be expected to take place. The decision to drink is accepted as a fact. This book is wide ranging and international in scope, including evidence from non-industrial societies. The evidence is considered within the context of the history of alcohol control policies and the ongoing polemic concerning the harm minimisation approach to problems associated not only with alcohol but also tobacco and illicit drugs. Strategies and policies are critically and pragmatically assessed in the light of the question, ‘What works?’. Edited by Martin Plant, Eric Single and Tim Stockwell. Read more…

Dealing with Drink: Alcohol and Social Policy in Contemporary England

: Thom, Betsy.

This work examines the social, political and health policy contexts within which alcohol treatment policy has emerged and changed since 1950. Three themes are highlighted as particularly relevant to an examination of policy trends: The emergence and evolution of a “policy community” spear-headed by psychiatrists in the 1960s but broadening to include other profession and the voluntary sector by the 1980s. Betsy Thom’s text traces professional changes and tensions and their effects on the formation and implementation of policy into the ’90s. The role of research which influenced the nature and direction of policy. Changing approaches to alcohol treatment reveal the increasing uses of research as the rationale for social and health policy decisions and illustrate the move towards a contractor relationship between research workers and policy makers. The changing conceptions and competing paradigms of the problem tracing the effect of ideological shifts on the balance between treatment responses and prevention and public health approaches to complex social medical problems such as alcoholism. Within these broad themes, the text portrays the pressures and tensions on government departments, the efforts to secure consensus in the formulation and implementation of policy and the importance of understanding the historical-social contexts from which policy emerges. Read more…

Cultural Collapse

: Weatherill, Rob

At a time when the relations between morality, the social fabric and the inner world are causing distress throughout the world, Rob Weatherill provides a searching study of the growing impoverishment of life in Western society. He plumbs the depths of the ways our culture impoverishes and does violence to our private selves and spaces. He addresses himself to the role of ideals in psychoanalysis and brings a Kleinian perspective to bear on the schizoid nature of modern culture; the emptiness of the addict; the crisis in education; feminism and the shattering of male narcissism. Read more…