Chasing the Dragon

The Rush to DestructionCocaine: The Rush to Destruction

Submitter: If the title and cover image weren’t heavy-handed enough for our teen patrons, the book is filled with stereotypical (and dated) images on every page staged to look like real drug transactions and use. The cover is startling enough, with the woman’s spectral nose floating off to the side! The book also places a strangely strong emphasis on the history of the coca trade, in language so stiff that I can’t imagine any teen picking this up long enough to glean any helpful information from it.

Holly: That cover! I will have nightmares for sure. Based on the date and the content submitted, it doesn’t seem too bad…I mean, I’ve seen worse. That said, there are plenty of great database entries with drug information for teens. If you’re weeding for space, it’s not like you can’t get the information elsewhere. Date-wise, I see that one of the images below (#3 on drug smuggling) cites data from 1997-1998. You can get more up-to-date stats from web sites like or the Statistical Abstract of the United States (a search for “drugs” brings up all kinds of data from 2012). I’m just “meh” on this one, but I’m not a fan of that cover!

snorting cocaine

Coca in Europe

Drug smuggling

crack cocaine

short term dangers


  1. I love the caption “Cocaine smuggling is the cause of violence and crime.” Not *a* cause, but *the* cause. Thanks to poor editing, this sounds even more patronizing than intended!

  2. We have this book in our high school library and the cover has always freaked me out. Drug books get a lot of use, both for research projects and SSR (sometimes I think kids pick them up just for the shock value of walking around with a book that says MARIJUANA

  3. Instantly the cover has me coming up with Voldemort jokes (wow, Voldy’s sister is pretty! Oh, so that’s what happened to Voldy’s nose. Voldy really should talk to his cousin about her drug use. etc), and with this being so recent it’s hard to believe the artist wasn’t at least a little inspired.

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