This book is a result of an intensive study from 1949 to 1955 of 100 male adolescent (ages 16-20) drug addicts (heroin) in three boroughs of New York City. The authors used interview techniques, questionnaires, and hospital records. Wherever possible, the families of the patients were also interviewed. The authors were able to elicit the cooperation of a sizable control group from a matching socioeconomic background, who were nondrug users. Dr. Chein and his associates are to be congratulated on their ability to carry out a multidiscipline research program involving psychologists, a psychiatrist, and a sociologist in such a difficult area.
Throughout the book the authors leave no stone unturned in discussing the problem of the adolescent addict from epidemiological, cultural, psychodynamic, and familial points of view. They are painfully aware