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When this series was conceived, a book on substance abuse, including alcohol and alcoholism, was to be of highest priority. This priority was a reflection of my view that the subject is often taught inadequately or insufficiently in many training programs. Yet these problems are com monly encountered in clinical practice, and all too often in situations where accurate diagnosis and rapid treatment are of critical importance. We wanted a book that would be concise and easily readable but also comprehensive in its presentation of the basic principles underlying clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. It was of particular importance that the book also serve as an easy reference guide in emergency situations. Marc Schuckit, a man with impeccable credentials as a scholar and an experienced clinician in this field, has produced just such a book! Few psychiatrists, psychotherapists, or physicians will want to be without it. The presentation is comprehensive and in depth, yet so clear and well organized that it will also likely be of interest to medical students, nurses, and emergency personnel.