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Introducing substance use and abuse in SA brain behaviour and other perspectives

This ground-breaking book looks at the problem of substance abuse from multiple perspectives

13 December 2018 - 10:25 By UCT Press

Substance abuse is an enormous social problem in South Africa, as elsewhere.

But in South Africa in particular, tik (crystal meth, or methamphetamine) and alcohol are devastating society, aggravating poverty and crime, and contributing to child abuse and gender violence.

Substance Use and Abuse in South Africa has arisen out of the thriving Brain-Behaviour Initiative (BBI) at the University of Cape Town, which relates neuroscience and behavioural science to social issues.

This ground-breaking book looks at the problem of substance abuse from multiple perspectives and particularly in the light of recent discoveries in brain and behavioural science, but also taking a public health view.

Its focus ranges from brain imaging and dopaminergic neurocircuitry to policy and prevention. This will be the first book to address the nature of this problem in an integrated way, written by local researchers at the cutting edge.



1 Substance abuse and abuse in South Africa: Dan Stein, George Ellis, Kevin Thomas, Ernesta Meintjies


2 Epidemiology and Risk Factors: Shandir Ramlagan and Karl Peltzer

3 The clinical presentation of substance-related disorders in South Africa: Don Wilson, Henk Temmingh, Allanah Wilson

4 Developmental consequences of prenatal drug and alcohol exposure: Colleen M. Adnams

5 Women and alcohol: Bronwyn Myers and Bavi Vythilingum


6 Addiction as virtual seeking: evolutionary insights into addiction: David Kibel, Dan J. Stein

7 Genetics and molecular biology: Shareefa Dalvie and Fleur Howells

8 Brain imaging and neural circuitry in MA abuse: Ernesta M. Meintjes, Anne Uhlmann, and Paul Carey

9 Affective neuroscience of methamphetamine abuse: Susan Malcolm-Smith, Anne Uhlmann, Anthony Hodge, Jonathan Ipser

10 Neurocognitive effects of alcohol abuse and dependence: Kevin G. F. Thomas and Helen L. Ferrett

11 Neuropsychoanalytic notes on addiction: Mark Solms, Eleni Pantelis & Jaak Panksepp

12 Decision-making and substance abuse: a South African perspective: Don Ross

13 Animal models of substance abuse: Vivienne A Russell, Jacqueline Dimatelis, William M U Daniels


14 Youth and substances: Neo K. Morojele, Eileen Rich, Alan J. Flisher, Bronwyn Myers

15 Evaluated interventions to prevent substance abuse among young South Africans: Cleo Protogerou, Alan J. Flisher, Neo K. Morojele

16 Interpersonal violence in South Africa and substance misuse: some perspectives on the connections: Catherine L. Ward

17 Substance use, stigma, and health literacy: a conceptual framework: Katherine Sorsdahl and Dan J Stein

18 Addiction: philosophy and ethics: Willie Pienaar

19 Clinical treatment of substance abuse and dependence in South  Africa: Henk Temmingh and Bronwyn Myers

20 Substance abuse policy in South Africa: Crick Lund and Noxolo Hewana

About the editors

Prof George Ellis is Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town. His professional teaching and research work includes relativity theory and cosmology, complexity studies and the brain. In 2004 he was awarded the Templeton Prize in recognition of his contribution to the study of the relation between religion and science.

Prof Dan Stein is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town. He has written numerous articles on the role of trauma, violence and alcohol in psychiatric disorders. He is the PI in the Cross-University Brain-Behaviour Initiative focusing on neuroscience, and in the Medical Research Council of South Africa Research Unit on Anxiety Disorders, investigating the psychobiology of anxiety disorders.

Dr Ernesta Meintjies is a senior scientist in the MRC/UCT Medical Imaging Research Unit. She has a PhD in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy from Oregon State University and has extensive expertise and training in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) physics. Her current research focuses on functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging studies of brain development in children with foetal alcohol syndrome.

Dr Kevin Thomas is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town, with a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona. His research interests include cognitive and clinical neuropsychology and neuroscience, cognitive aging, and stress, anxiety and trauma.

Article provided by UCT Press.