Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Full Review
by Cynthia Kuhn; Scott Swartzwelder; Wilkie Wilson
W.W. Norton & Co. 
Book Reviews
Reviewed by Erowid, 3/27/2000

When we received a copy of the first edition of this book, we were disappointed by the large number of errors found in the section on Hallucinogens. We were told that the second edition corrected the errors that we had pointed out. Unfortunately, after reviewing the second edition we have found that this section is still rife with errors and misunderstandings. While we applaud the author’s stated intent of providing more information so people can make their own educated and knowledgeable choices regarding psychoactive substances, the information about psychedelics is perhaps not as informed as we might hope.

The authors seem to be working primarily from data found in research studies while trying to present information about recreational use practices. The book attempts to provide a comprehensive resource for the most commonly used recreational psychoactives, but information about some very popular drugs such as DXM, 2C-B or any of the newer research chemicals is notably limited and/or missing.

Not Recommended.


  1. Although the book may have been lacking in some areas, I feel that you didn’t given it enough credit in the review. Not only does this book cover all sorts of drugs consumed in American society, but it features a full four pages of color photos of drug samples.

    Comment by Michael Smith — 1/21/2007 @ 1:58 pm

  2. Okay i have recently checked out this book in my school library for my english assignment, and i think this book is very informational and also dont think that you give the book itself enough credit.

    Comment by michael — 4/13/2007 @ 9:27 am

  3. i too think the review for this book is unfair; it covers the major stuff well enough for anyone who doesnt know those substances. It also never implies you shouldn’t take these, it just informs you to make your own decision. A book perfect for parents etc.

    Comment by aaron — 11/6/2007 @ 10:27 pm

  4. I’d be interested to learn more about the errors in the first edition. Could you provide more details? Also, as Kuhn has recently published a 3rd edition of Buzzed, I’m curious if the errors from the first edition are still there. I teach a course on recreational drugs and am very interested in Erowid’s perspective.

    Comment by Brian Piper — 8/24/2008 @ 2:32 pm

  5. Erowid, there is a third edition, fully revised. I would be interested in seeing a revised review on it.

    Comment by Jake — 1/23/2010 @ 1:50 am

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed:



Note: Your submission will be considered for publication, no need to submit twice. Thank You!