Double diagnosis and forensic psychiatric opinion
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Psychiatr Pol 2009;43(5):601-609
Addiction to alcohol or any other psychoactive substance can run parallel with other diseases or mental disorders. One can then observe co-occurrence and mutual interaction of dysfunctions typical or addiction and of other mental disorders that accompany addiction. That is why, clinical pictures of such states (double diagnosis) are usually less unique, have an unusual course and cause diagnostic and therapeutic difficulty. The problem of forensic psychiatric opinion and treatment of people with a double diagnosis is another aspect of these difficulties. It is caused by the fact that forensic psychiatric assessment of the mental state of such people requires taking into consideration a very complex clinical and legal situation triggered by the interference of various ethiopathogenetic and clinical disorders. It leads to the need for complex evaluation and reference to sanity or other signs of functioning within the current law should result, first of all, from the analyses directly pertaining to the influence of the diagnosed disorders on the state of patients with double diagnosis. The forensic psychiatric aspect of disorders connected with double diagnosis is particularly significant as there is a relatively high risk of behaviours posing a threat to public order in this group of patients.
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