Historical Vocabulary of Addiction

Peter R. Martin

Cordoba: INHN Publisher; 2022 (320 pages)


Reviewed by Peter R. Martin



INFORMATION ON CONTENTS: Historical Vocabulary of Addiction is divided into five parts, including a “Preface” written by the author of the book and a portrait of Thomas Arthur Ban, M.D, to whom the book is dedicated.  Historical Vocabulary of Addiction includes in one volume all 39 of the entries posted on the website of the International Network for History of Neuropsychopharmacology (INHN) between 2016 and 2022 that have each been re-edited and annotated with an updated list of references.  Some examples of the words examined in detail in Historical Vocabulary of Addiction include: Addiction, Alcoholism, Blackout, Competence, Conditioning, Craving, Delirium Tremens, Empathy, Gambling, Intoxication, Kindling, Mindfulness, Motivation, Pain, Prevention, Recovery, Resilience, Salience, Sexual Addiction, Tolerance, Trauma, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, among many more.  The organization of the material under each heading in a conventional alphabetical order renders these vignettes more readily accessible for educational and other purposes.  An Appendix at the end of the book includes a copy of the comments by INHN members accompanied by the author’s responses that appeared in the electronic medium after the vignettes were initially posted on the website. 


AUTHOR’S STATEMENT: The goal of the book is to facilitate a rapprochement of the study of alcohol/drug use disorders, non-drug or behavioral addictive disorders and other psychiatric disorders within the context of psychiatry and neuropsychopharmacology.  This book is intended for all psychiatrists and others interested in mental disorders, including those who have not viewed patients who suffer from addictive disorders as typically in their bailiwick.  By reading this book, all can acquire a more complete understanding of the vocabulary of addiction and how this is relevant to their clinical work and teaching.  Each entry provides an appreciation not only of the meaning of the words used in relation to addictive disorders but also their historical origins and the evolution of their use up to the present. Historical Vocabulary of Addiction is a transformation of an almost “living and breathing” electronic medium into the more conventional paper record for permanence.  Accordingly, it suffers from the telescoping of time and the retrospective ordering of the sequences of entries so that they are now in alphabetical order, not the order in which they were initially written.  Additionally, an effort has been made to cross-reference chapters within each conceptual discussion of words that can guide the reader’s travels through this volume.  I hope that the organization of the material under each heading in a conventional alphabetical order will render the entries more readily accessible and properly referenced as part of the historical record of the field of neuropsychopharmacology. 


September 8, 2022