(Received 19 August 1985; accepted 15 October 1985)
Published Online: July
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The concept of pathological intoxication and its successor term, alcohol idiosyncratic reaction, has been one of ambiguity and professional disagreement. The history of such an entity reveals contradictions and varying usage—particularly in regard to the amount of alcohol required. Some feel that the current classification system is broad enough to include such reactions without the use of such terms. Laboratory and electroencephalographic findings are not diagnostic. The author suggests that if the concept is to be retained, psychiatrists utilize where possible the term “alcohol idiosyncratic reaction” in accord with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) III guidelines, particularly in view of the medicolegal implications discussed in Part II, which follows as a separate paper.
Professor of Psychiatry, Rutgers Medical School-UMDNJ, Piscataway, NJ
Stock #: JFS11090J