Technical Books on Forensic Science and Forensic Medicine: Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine, Vol.5, No. 2, July - December 2004
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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Volume 5, Number 2, July - December 2004

Book Reviews: Technical Books Section

(Page 9)


A VERY VALUABLE LITTLE BOOK


 Lexicon of Alcohol and Drug Terms
World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland, Publication Date 1994, 65 pages, ISBN 92 4 154468 6: NLM Classification WA 270: Price: US Sw.fr. 17, in developing countries Sw.fr. 11.90

Official Site: Click here to visit

Lexicon of Alcohol and Drug Terms
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The World Health Organisation (WHO), created in 1948, is a specialised agency of the United Nations with primary responsibility for international health matters and public health.

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This lexicon published by WHO in 1994 "aims to provide a set of definitions of terms concerning alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs which will be useful to clinical administrators, research and others interested in this field." This is an extremely useful resource to this day and provides concise definitions for some 230 terms.
Lexicon of Alcohol and Drug Terms
...This is really a very valuable little book as it is important that physicians use standard terms when writing about this subject for the sake of clarity. However another practical aspect is that the book is of great assistance when writing medico-legal reports where medical jargon is best avoided. ...

The main diagnostic categories in the field are defined, as are key concepts in scientific and/or popular use. There are links with the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) wherever appropriate, diagnostic codes from ICD-10 are provided, either for specific terms or in the course of their definition. Definitions for example are given of harmful use and dependence as seen in ICD-10 as opposed to hazardous use - a pattern of substance use that increases the risk of harmful consequences for the user. This is a term currently used by WHO but it is not a diagnostic term in ICD-10.

Social as well as health aspects of drug use and problems related to use are covered. An example of social interest : "hangover - a post intoxication state comprising the immediate after-effects of drinking alcoholic beverages in excess." Slang terms used by substance misusers are not included, and in any case, such terms change frequently and vary between countries and even areas within the same country. Good practice suggests checking with a substance misuser any terminology they may use to describe their practice.

This is really a very valuable little book as it is important that physicians use standard terms when writing about this subject for the sake of clarity. However another practical aspect is that the book is of great assistance when writing medico-legal reports where medical jargon is best avoided. The volume is a companion to the Lexicon of Psychiatric and Mental Health terms, which was also issued by WHO in 1994.

Margaret M. Stark
-Margaret M. Stark
Dr Margaret M Stark LLM DGM DMJ(Clin) DAB is one of the foremost experts in Clinical Forensic Medicine. She has been a registered medical practitioner since 1981 and has worked in the field of clinical forensic medicine since 1989. She is a well-known authority on Drugs of abuse, and is the author of the best-selling "Symptoms and signs of Substance misuse" published by Greenwich Medical Media Ltd..

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-Anil Aggrawal





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  home  > Volume 5, Number 2, July - December 2004  > Reviews  > Technical Books  > page 9: Lexicon of Alcohol and Drug Terms  (you are here)
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