Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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220 pages
9 x 6 inches
October 2014
Print ISBN: 9781551306346


Just Say Know is an essential resource for counsellors, educators, therapists, social workers, policy-makers, and professionals interested in acquiring a practical understanding of psychoactive drug pharmacology and physiology. In addition to evaluating traditional street narcotics, the most commonly abused drug families — depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and psychotherapeutics — are presented in an accessible format that unpacks risk and therapeutic applications. Csiernik demystifies the abuse of prescription compounds, as well as drugs that are new to North American communities. Pedagogical features include quizzes, case studies, figures, and a comprehensive list of addiction resource centres, making this book a perfect addition to any addictions-related program or course. Light on jargon and heavy on evidence, this manual supplies the blueprints that every service provider needs to dispense sound, evidence-based care.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Pharmacological Principles
1.1 Understanding Addiction
1.2 Psychoactive Drug Groups
1.3 The Central Nervous System
1.4 Pharmacokinetics
1.5 Pharmacodynamics: Tolerance and Withdrawal
1.6 Sleeping and Dreaming

Chapter 2: Depressants
2.1 Sedative-Hypnotics
2.2 Antihistamines
2.3 Inhalants, Solvents, and Anaesthetic Gases
2.4 Alcohol
2.5 Opioids

Chapter 3: Stimulants
3.1 Cocaine
3.2 Amphetamine and Methamphetamine
3.3 Anorexiants
3.4 Decongestants
3.5 Khat (Qat)
3.6 Methylendioxypyrovalerone (Bath Salts)
3.7 Betel
3.8 Nicotine
3.9 Caffeine

Chapter 4: Hallucinogens
4.1 Hallucinogens
4.2 Indolealkylamine: LSD-Like Hallucinogens
4.3 Phenylethylamines: Mescaline-Like Hallucinogens
4.4 Dissociative Anaesthetics — Arylcycloalkylamines
4.5 Cannabis

Chapter 5: Psychotherapeutic Agents
5.1 Antidepressants
5.2 Antipsychotics
5.3 Mood Stabilizers

Appendix A: Quiz Answers
Appendix B: Canadian Addiction Resources

Rick Csiernik

Rick Csiernik is a Professor of Social Work at King’s College, University of Western Ontario. Csiernik has authored and edited several popular Canadian Scholars' titles including: Just Say Know: A Counsellor's Guide to Psychoactive Drugs (2014), Workplace Wellness (2014); Responding to the Oppression of Addiction (co-edited with William S. Rowe, 2017); Substance Use and Abuse (2016); The Drug Paradox (with Tara Bruno, 2018), and Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Health (co-edited with Cheryl Forchuk and Elsabeth Jensen, 2011). The author of more than 100 journal articles, his research interests include addiction, employee assistance programming and workplace wellness, social work education, and program evaluation. Rick has been recipient of both the King’s University College Award for Excellence in Teaching and the McMaster University Instructor Appreciation Award.

Substance Use and Abuse, The Drug Paradox, Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Health, Just Say Know, Responding to the Oppression of Addiction, 2nd Edition, Substance Use and Abuse, Second Edition, Wellness and Work, Workplace Wellness, Responding to the Oppression of Addiction, Third Edition, The Essential Guide to Psychoactive Drugs in Canada, Second Edition


"Just Say Know is a must-read for anyone working in the field of addiction counselling. This comprehensive one-stop reference manual can be applied to almost any level; test questions and case studies make this book a valuable means of self-evaluation. Whether a student or a seasoned counsellor, I highly recommend adding this book to your tool kit."
—  Tom Gabriel, EFAP Consultant, Crisis and Addiction Counsellor for the Toronto Police Association and Vice President of the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)

"Finally, a Canadian text reflecting the unique world of individuals with chemical dependencies! Presented in an organized fashion, Csiernik has provided current information, best practices, quizzes, learning activities, and case studies that will allow opportunities for readers to interpret, practice, and evaluate new knowledge. Just Say Know is an ideal text for new and experienced practitioners alike."
—  Heidi Stanley, Program Coordinator, Addictions: Treatment and Prevention Program, Georgian College

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