Comprehensive forensic psychological and psychiatric assessment of alcohol dependence in civil and criminal trials

March 12, 2018

The prevalence of alcoholism, the increase in the number of forensic psychiatric examinations of persons with abuse, the difference in expert decisions, depending on the type of examination are reflect the problematic state of forensic examination of the mental state of persons with alcohol abuse syndrome, the lack of forensic psychiatric standards and the needs for scientific and methodological developments in this direction. The purpose was to establish the main criteria of forensic psychiatric/psychological expert assessment of alcohol abuse. Material and methods. 387 persons with alcohol-related syndrome (206 of them in civil cases and 181 in the criminal process) were examinationed in order to assess their ability to understand the significance of their actions and to manage them in a legally significant situation. Results. Expert decisions in post-mortem and life-time forensic examination of persons with alcohol abuse has differ significantly. At life-time forensic examination decisions were made about impossibility (65.1%) or a limited ability to realize the significance of their actions and manage them (29.1%). Instead, in the retrospective assessment of the mental status of persons at the time of legally significant situations (post-mortem examination), the number of able-bodied (31.7%) and the limited ability (45%) was significantly higher. Both groups had a rather high percentage of people who were found to be inadequate to realize the significance of their actions and manage them. In the criminal process, such cases were isolated. In the algorithm of expert research of persons with alcohol abuse, in addition to studying the mental state it is necessary to include research and comparison of psychosocial parameters functioning during life and in a legally significant period. Conclusions. Forensic psychiatric assessment of alcohol abuse should cover a complex of psychopathological, social, situational and psychological factors with involvement of psychologists experts.

O.P. Oliinyk, О.V. Radzevilova

Key words: forensic examination, alcohol abuse, mental disorders, ability to realize the significance of their actions and to manage them, civil and criminal process.

Published: 14.03.2018


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