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Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs

A Positive Approach to Mood Alteration (Second Edition)
Harvey B. Milkman, Stanley G. Sunderwirth, and Katherine G. Hill
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Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs explains how the pursuit of pleasure can result in compulsion and loss of control, and explores positive ways to achieve lasting happiness. It provides insight on how to improve quality of life and how to offer support to students, clients, family, or friends whose lives may be compromised by addiction.

Timely and comprehensive, the text addresses current topics related to drug use and society, including the medicalization, legalization, and widespread availability of THC, the complex problem of prescription and black-market opioid and heroin abuse, nicotine’s effects on the brain, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and hookah bars, and more.

Early chapters address addiction through topics such as pleasure and the brain, food addictions and the ways food can alter neurochemistry, and the effect of stress hormones on mood. Later chapters discuss the prevention and treatment methods discovered within the past decade, namely the introduction of natural highs – such as exercise, meditation, and eating well – to children to help them achieve pleasure and reduce stress without the use of dangerous substances.

Highly readable and engaging, Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs will appeal to students of addictive behavior, physical and mental health practitioners of all kinds, and anyone interested in discovering healthy ways to find satisfaction, wellness, and a natural sense of elation in life.

Harvey B. Milkman earned his doctorate at Michigan State University. He is professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he specializes in cognitive-behavioral approaches to mood alteration. He is visiting professor at Reykjavik University in Iceland.
Stanley G. Sunderwirth, Ph.D., was professor emeritus at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and the author of numerous publications on brain chemistry and its effect on mind, mood, and behavior. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from The Ohio State University.
Katherine G. Hill, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Hill completed postdoctoral training at Oregon Health & Science University, studying models of drug and alcohol reward. Her areas of expertise include psychopharmacology, and cravings and addictions.
Reviews from Previous Editions:

"This book is extremely useful for a broad range of readers. This book reflects the extensive scientific and clinical expertise of the authors and is compelling reading for anyone interested in addictive behaviors. It is one of the rare books that from page one immediately engrosses, educates and broadens your perspective."
Alex Blaszczynski, The University of Sydney, International Journal of Mental Health Addiction

"Psychologist Harvey Milkman and chemist Stanley Sunderwirth explore why our relentless search for pleasure sometimes leads to dangerous addictions and show us healthy ways to achieve happiness."
Scientific American Mind

"Harvey B. Milkman and Stanley Sunderwirth have written a tour de force. Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs: A Positive Approach to Mood Alteration . . . is a beautifully written and organized book . . . a thrill ride through the most innovative and insightful perspectives that science and clinical experience have to offer . . . hip and artistic, reflecting a deep understanding of addiction . . . a major contribution to the field; it is must reading."
Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., CAS Editor, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Director, Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance

"Reading this book is in itself and ecstatic experience! . . . a fascinating journey that explores the benefits and risks of pleasure and the universal desire to feel good . . . It's quite a trip."
G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., University of Washington

"The chemistry and psychology of addiction are described with considerable insight. . . . These authors know their stuff and make a compelling case."
The Los Angeles Times

"The authors provide a valuable service by placing into perspective a large array of behaviors that could be considered addictive."