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In 1980, the authors of the DSM-III examined the research on pathological intoxication and attempted to formalize and standardize the criteria for diagnosis.
Despite its inclusion in DSM-III, the cause(s) of pathological intoxication has never been determined.
In addition to the lack of success in determining the causes of pathological intoxication, critics have made a number of arguments about why pathological intoxication is a questionable diagnosis.
65) Clinical research, which supposedly supports pathological intoxication, is not useful because the amount of alcohol used to induce the alleged state of pathological intoxication was enough to induce a state of intoxication in normal individuals and the subjects exhibited no behaviors uniquely associated with pathological intoxication.
The criticisms of pathological intoxication ultimately led the DSM-IV's task force on substance-related disorders to recommend the disorder be deleted entirely from the DSM.
DSM-IV dropped pathological intoxication as a distinct diagnosis.
Although pathological intoxication was raised as part of a criminal defense at least as early as the 1930s,73 the validity of a pathological intoxication defense was given a boost when the Model Penal Code and the first edition of the DSM recognized the concept of pathological intoxication.
78) It also fails to distinguish between pathological intoxication and low alcohol tolerance.
Two recent cases illustrate the continued appeal of using evidence of pathological intoxication as part of a criminal defense.
93) The defendant, however, produced evidence that he suffered from pathological intoxication based on the bizarre nature of the crime and the fact that defendant did not have any memory of the incident.
101) Understanding the two roles that psychiatry plays in the criminal process is important for deciding the usefulness of certain psychiatric concepts such as pathological intoxication.
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