David T. Courtwright is John A. Delaney Presidential Professor at the University of North Florida.
"Dark Paradise" tells the story not only from the standpoint of legal and medical sources, but also from the perspective of addicts themselves. With the addition of a new introduction and two new chapters on heroin addiction and treatment since 1940, Courtwright has updated this compelling work of social history for the present crisis of the Drug War.
The book begins with current animal models of addiction, which mimic the state of humans entering treatment: recently-abstinent animals that receive common triggers for relapse (classical conditioning, stress, and neuroadaptive dysregulation). Coverage then shifts to the use of electrophysiologic approaches, which enable researchers to characterize the discharge patterns of single neurons during drug self-administration. After exploring advances in voltammetry and enzyme-linked biosensors for measuring glutamate, the book discusses the theoretical background and results of neuroimaging studies related to neuronal networks that are activated by drug-specific cues. It then describes modern genetic approaches to manipulate target proteins that influence addictive behavior.
The book rounds out its coverage by illustrating how a neuroeconomic approach can inform studies of reward processing in general and addiction in particular. It is a comprehensive introduction to the methodologies of the field for students and beginning researchers and an essential reference source for established investigators.
Eating to Excess: The Meaning of Gluttony and the Fat Body in the Ancient World explores the historical roots of the symbolic relationship between fatness, gluttony, and immorality in western culture. It includes chapters on Greek philosophy, medicine, and physiognomy; Greek and Roman popular culture; early Christianity; and the development of gluttony as one of the seven deadly sins. By examining ancient ideas about gluttony and fat bodies, the author offers new insight into what it means to be human in the western world.