Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs

A Positive Approach to Mood Alteration (Second Edition)
Harvey B. Milkman, Stanley G. Sunderwirth, and Katherine G. Hill
©2019, 602 pages

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Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs

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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, Ph.D., 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.
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    Adopting instructors will receive 25 PowerPoint presentations, one for each chapter of the text, and a test bank that includes over 1,000 individual questions across 72 unique question sets.
    "Harvey 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. The second edition includes new chapters focused on marijuana, opioids, cigarettes and nicotine, changing patterns of female AOD use, evidence-based treatment models including medication assisted treatment, and a review of Iceland's preeminent public health model for preventing substance abuse. Like the first edition, this is hip and artistic, reflecting a deep understanding of addiction. Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs is a major contribution to the field."
    Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D.
    Morris E. Chafetz Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Behavioral Sciences, Harvard Medical School
    Director, Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance
    Past Editor, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

    “If there is but one book that you read about pleasure, addiction, and recovery this by far THE book. Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs is by the most comprehensive, informative, and ground breaking book that I have read on these broad subjects. Fascinating as it is fun to read, it is a gold mine of cutting edge science and a go-to book for insights on drug and natural highs.”
    John B. Arden, Ph.D., author of Mind-Brain-Gene

    “There is not a society on earth that does not regularly employ intoxicants. The human desire to transport our minds to states of awe, wonder, and ecstasy is ubiquitous. It is akin to a basic instinct, like hunger, sex, and attachment.
    We learned this crucial lesson, now essential to beat back the opioid and other drugs epidemic and a world encased in ennui, from Dr. Milkman in the groundbreaking first edition of
    Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs. Now we can learn so much more as Dr. Milkman updates us – in his always engaging style – on what is new and revelatory in the science and culture of hedonic practices, including drug use and abuse.
    The 2nd Edition of
    Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs is remarkably timely and exceptionally relevant. You will want to read it, and you will enjoy the read.”
    Lloyd I. Sederer, MD
    Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of Public Health
    Chief Medical Officer, New York State Office of Mental Health

    Reviews for First Edition:
    "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

    "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."