Thank you for your interest in recommending The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law site. As with any substance-induced diagnosis, it is incumbent upon evaluators to educate the court as to why a defendant's behavior is better explained by the ingestion of a given substance than by a psychiatric disorder.
The higher court ruled that the trial court was incorrect on this question of whether the hypoglycemic condition could be argued under the involuntary intoxication defense instead of the insanity defense.
Although numerous case reports supported the diagnosis of caffeine-induced psychosis in our case, other substances (particularly newer medications or synthetic intoxicants) may lack a literature base. The purpose of this article is to summarize states' statutory approaches to involuntary intoxication, given that the term is defined variably, if defined at all. For example, Florida statute specifies that voluntary intoxication is not a defense “except when the consumption, injection, or use of a controlled substance … was pursuant to a lawful prescription issued to the defendant by a practitioner … .”34 Similarly, Michigan statute specifies that voluntary and knowing consumption of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances is not a defense to a crime except when the individual “voluntarily consumed a legally obtained and properly used medication or other substance and did not know and reasonably should not have known that he or she would become intoxicated or impaired.”35 In states with such statutory approaches, it is conceivable that a substance such as caffeine could be considered in an involuntary intoxication defense. In states where criteria are included to define involuntary intoxication, the main elements identified are lack of consent (e.g., coercion) or lack of knowledge regarding the potential for intoxication.
Some states allow attorneys to assert involuntary intoxication as a possible cause of mental disturbance within the framework of the overall insanity defense, while others establish involuntary intoxication as a stand-alone defense, separate and distinct from the insanity defense. You might hallucinate, but maybe you won't lose your marbles... "Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment.".
The evaluating psychiatrist in the case opined that Mr. Low was not mentally ill at the time of the offense, but was indeed experiencing what was termed “organic delusional syndrome” or “toxic psychosis” due to ingestion of an excess of dextromethorphan. In states where clear statutory guidelines or case law exists, it is important that forensic evaluators render opinions consistent with jurisdictional standards.
Evaluators must be careful to apply jurisdictionally appropriate standards in involuntary intoxication defenses because the bar for this total defense differs across localities. A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of Theravāda Buddhism, Post
Specifically, the court held: In Colorado, and in states with a similar statutory framework governing insanity and intoxication, evaluators should educate themselves as to the separate statutory standards for finding a defendant not criminally responsible for their conduct due to psychosis or similar mental disturbance. by Placid-pool » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:20 pm, Post
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