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Books About Cocaine and Cocaine Addiction

From Coca to Crack


Updated November 21, 2007

These books trace the political and cultural history of cocaine, the devastating effects it has had on the lives of those who abuse it and explore the most effective treatment and relapse prevention strategies.

1. Cocaine - An Unauthorized Biography

Cocaine - An Unauthorized Biography
Price Grabber
Author Dominic Streatfeild, a British documentary film producer, details the far-reaching effects of cocaine on history and society, from the Amazon coca plantations to the crack houses of New York. Streatfeild traces the history of cocaine use from Columbus to Richard Pryor and discusses in detail the politics behind the cocaine cartels and the U.S. war on drugs.
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2. White Mischief - A Cultural History of Cocaine

White Mischief
Price Grabber
Tim Madge outlines the cultural history of cocaine from its initial marketing as a wonder drug in the 1880s to becoming the highly addictive target of law enforcement efforts. Madge plots the history of the coca plant as the "food of the gods" hundreds of years ago to the massive campaign by the Drug Enforcement Administration to stop it from being imported into the United States.
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3. The Cocaine Chronicles

Cocaine Chronicles
Price Grabber
This book includes 17 short stories by different authors on the powerful and destructive effects of cocaine use and abuse. Story writers include Susan Straight, Lee Child, Laura Lippman, Ken Bruen, Jerry Stahl, Nina Revoyr, Bill Moody, Emory Holmes II, James Brown, Gary Phillips, Jervey Tervalon, Kerry E. West, Donnell Alexander, Deborah Vankin, Robert Ward, Manuel Ramos, and Detrice Jones.
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4. The Cocaine Kids - The Inside Story of a Teenage Drug Ring

Cocaine Kids
Price Grabber
Sociologist Terry Williams spent five years observing the inside workings of a teenage cocaine distribution ring in New York's Spanish Harlem to compile this account of how illegal cocaine is bought and sold on the street. Some critics claim Williams glamorizes the cocaine trade without enough emphasis on the violence and dangers for the teens involved.
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5. Crackhouse - Notes from the End of the Line

Price Grabber
In this follow-up to The Cocaine Kids, Terry Williams paints a dim picture of the hell-on-Earth existence of crack addicts living in a third-floor apartment in Spanish Harlem and gives the reader a glimpse of the development of crackhouse culture. Williams portrays crack addicts as lost victims who deserve compassion.
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6. Blow - How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million

Price Grabber
Author Bruce Porter describes the rise and fall of George Jung, a small town high school football star who became a major link in the U.S.-Columbian cocaine connection, in the book on which the movie Blow was based. Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All details the rollercoaster career of Jung, from making millions dealing and trafficking cocaine to becoming a prosecution's witness and finally delivering fish on Cape Cod.
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7. Belushi

Price Grabber
Friends, family, co-workers and entertainment industry giants share their insights into the life of John Belushi, from his rise to comic stardom to his overdose on heroin and cocaine in 1982. Belushi's wife Judy compiled this series of interviews shortly after his death as an oral history of the actor and comedian's larger-than-life career and tragic death.
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8. Cocaine Addiction - Theory, Research, and Treatment

Cocaine Addiction - Theory
Price Grabber
Jerome Platt has compiled an exhaustive summary of more than 1,000 research articles on the history, use, pharmacology, behavioral effects, psychopathological and medical aspects, and treatment of abuse of cocaine. Platt also looks at various treatment approaches to cocaine addiction, pharmacologic and nonmedical.
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9. Cocaine Addiction - Treatment, Recovery, and Relapse Prevention

Cocaine Addiction - Treatment
Price Grabber
Arnold Washton details a practical guide to clinical assessment and treatment of cocaine addiction, outlining specific outpatient practices and relapse prevention strategies. Washton's theory is that in order for concaine addicts to be treated successfully, a "thorough knowledge and understanding of the particulars of cocaine use are essential."
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