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Violent Behavior, Impulsive Decision-Making, and Anterograde Amnesia While Intoxicated With Flunitrazepam and Alcohol or Other Drugs: A Case Study in Forensic Psychiatric Patients

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Dated: 2002 Pages: 238-251
Anna M. Daderman Ph.D.; Bjorn Fredriksson B.Sc.; Marianne Kristiansson M.D.; Lars-Hakan Nilsson M.D.; Lars Lidberg M.D.
Date Published
14 pages
This article presents a case study in forensic, psychiatric, drug-abusing patients.
Many male juvenile delinquents commit violent crimes while intoxicated with flunitrazepam (FZ), often in combination with alcohol or other drugs. This study observed five forensic psychiatric patients, all of whom had reported earlier reactions to FZ, including hostility and anterograde amnesia. At the times of their crimes all were intoxicated with FZ. Their crimes were extremely violent, and the subjects lacked both the ability to think clearly and to have empathy with their victims. The article discusses, among other topics: the medical use of FZ; its neuropsychopharmacologic properties; the concept of vulnerable personality and disposition for abuse; psychological aberration or confusion while intoxicated with FZ; amnesic effect of FZ and legal issues; and biological vulnerability. The article claims that FZ-facilitated violent behavior leading to impulsive decision-making has become increasingly common in males. Psychiatrically or psychologically vulnerable males are at particularly high risk of violent and bizarre behavior when under the influence of FZ. The article recommends that FZ be declared illegal. Table, references