PATHOLOGICAL INTOXICATION

An acute psychotic episode occurring in (1) individuals whose tolerance for alcohol is low due to an unstable personality or epileptic tendencies, and (2) relatively normal individuals who drink after being subjected to prolonged stress, debilitating illness, or an exhausting experience. The disorder is also known as mania a potu, “madness from drink.”The onset of the disturbance is sudden and may even follow moderate drinking. The patient becomes confused and disoriented, and experiences hallucinations which lead to impulsive acts or outright violence. Some cases of this kind are probably instances of epileptic furor: ‘There is an increasing tendency to consider that such episodes with their disturbances of consciousness and perhaps crimes of violence are really instances of psychomotor epilepsy released by alcohol in persons predisposed to such seizures” (Noyes and Kolb, 1963). In one study (Binswanger,1935) , 26 out of 174 patients had been charged with such crimes as manslaughter, arson, and sexual assault. The disturbance lasts for a few minutes to a day or more, followed by prolonged sleep. There is a complete amnesia for the episode. Treatment is essentially the same as for other cases of acute alcoholism: a restful environment, enriched diet, sweetened fruit juice, and the tranquilizer, chlorpromazine.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "PATHOLOGICAL INTOXICATION," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/pathological-intoxication/ (accessed October 19, 2019).
SHARE