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J Clin Psychiatry. 1979 Oct;40(10):424-6.

Pathological intoxication--is there such an entity?


Pathological intoxication appears as a diagnostic term in DSM-II and DSM-III, is defined in a psychiatric dictionary and is described in several textbooks. Still, is there really such an entity? Is the small amount of alcohol inbibed incidental rather than causal? It should be borne in mind that alcohol is the popular explain-all of our culture and as such is used as an excuse for everything from sexual indiscretions to well-planned "impulsive" acts. It is likely--and evidence is presented for this conclusion--that so-called cases of pathological intoxication are really dissociative reactions. The existence of pathological intoxication as an entity must remain in doubt unless the disorder can be reproduced under controlled conditions.

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