Forensic chemistry of substance misuse: a guide to drug control

Forensic chemistry of substance misuse: a guide to drug control

L A King 

Cambridge, UK: RSC Publishing 2009 | 276pp | ?49.95 (HB)

ISBN 9780854041787

Reviewed by Michael Cole


Building on a previous text by the same author, this book is a timely addition to the literature on controlled substances. Aimed at laboratory-based scientists, those in the judicial system and others interested in substance misuse, this text provides an authoratitive guide to the legislation in the UK, and draws parallels with United Nations, European and other national legislative systems and provides for the needs of this target audience in a perfect way. There is sufficient chemistry to provide for the specialist chemist and at the same time detailed commentary to make the text relevant to practising legal professionals. It is also sufficiently engaging and provides sufficient background and context that it would be of interest to the more generalist reader.

Without providing methods for drug analysis and entering the debate on the rights or wrongs of substance misuse covered in other texts, this extremely useful guide describes the UK legislation, the amendments and their consequences of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and interestingly discusses problem areas in terms of definitions, legal interpretation and describes drugs which might come under future control. The appendices provide a wealth of useful, detailed, information supporting the discussion of drug legislation. There is also a useful general bibliography, a list of useful websites and the book is very well indexed.

The book is excellently produced, and provides a large number of chemical structures, particularly of the newer and more problematic drugs, which will be of great assistance to the reader. It is a very valuable addition to the literature in this area and is wholeheartedly recommended.