Chapter 1: Intoxicants as symbols and rituals
"Having a glass of wine is so nice and cozy" -- Symbols generate moods -- Symbols are valuable tools -- The symbolic functions of the intoxicants -- Rituals and the spirit of community -- Drug use as a compulsory ritual -- Ceremonial chemistry -- The wine snobbery and cocaine snobbery -- Snobbery is not perceived subjectively
Chapter 2: Intoxication as alibi for performances
The social psychology of intoxication -- Explaining behavior and performances -- The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Principles -- The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Examples -- Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Principles -- Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Examples
Chapter 3: Intoxication as alibi for actions
Responsibility during intoxication -- Forgive them, for they know not... -- A sense of freedom - for better or for worse -- A strict conscience on vacation -- ... but more often, a permissive conscience is on vacation -- Intoxication for different purposes -- Advertising the alibi -- The extenuating circumstance in court -- What is meant by "drinking too much"? -- The cause of counter reactions: Problem behavior -- Do they really "not know what they do"? -- Intoxication as a collective self-deceit
Chapter 4: Are intoxicants magical substances?
Magical substances or learned effects? -- Research with humans and animals -- How do we identify our feelings? -- Can chemical effects be learned? -- The power of expectations: The mighty placebo effect -- Can intoxicants be studied by blind tests?
Chapter 5: Do illegal drugs have pleasant effects?
The pioneer study of marijuana -- Later research on marijuana intoxication -- Do amphetamine and cocaine have pleasant effects? -- Are addicts and drugs users motivated by the chemical effects? -- Psychological effects of morphine and heroin -- Psychological effects of LSD, inhalants etc.
Chapter 6: What are the psychological effects of alcohol?
Blind tests with alcohol -- The "Marlatt Method" -- Alcohol and sex -- Alcohol and inhibitions -- Is alcohol a tranquilizer? -- Alcohol and aggression -- Alcohol, mood and self-confidence -- The effects of alcohol upon skill and performance -- Blind tests with alcohol - and so what? -- Alcohol as a natural adulterant -- The best studies: alcohol in different cultures -- Learning the spell of alcohol -- "Loss of inhibitions" - only now and then -- The behavioral effects of alcohol - conclusions
Chapter 7: The chemistry of "getting high"
The adventurous experiences of intoxication and religion -- The pharmacological basis of getting "high" -- "Getting high" -- not an effect, but an interpretation.
Chapter 8: Do alcoholic beverages taste good?
Taste preferences: inborn or learned? -- Is alcohol of vital importance for the taste? -- Do "good" alcoholic beverages taste better than "poor"? -- Alcohol, taste and illusions
Chapter 9: Research on motives for intoxicant use, in perspective
From superstition to science: demystification of intoxicants -- How did alcohol and other drugs become "psycho-active" drugs? -- Chemical hypothesis or indisputable motives? -- Understanding intoxicant use - is it possible?
Chapter 10: May conventional wisdom be changed?
Separating alcohol use from disinhibition -- Putting theory into practice -- Altered expectations give altered experiences