U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

SOCIOPATHY AND ALCOHOL ABUSE (FROM PSYCHOPATH -A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF ANTISOCIAL DISORDERS AND BEHAVIORS, 1978, BY WILLIAM H REID - SEE NCJ-57510)

NCJ Number
57514
Author(s)
R T RADA
Date Published
1978
Length
11 pages
Annotation
EVIDENCE OF AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN SOCIOPATHY AND ALCOHOLISM IS REVIEWED, AND DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS OF THE TWO CONDITIONS IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract
THERE IS GROWING EVIDENCE OF A FAMILIAL ASSOCIATION BETWEEN SOCIOPATHY AND ALCOHOLISM, BUT IT IS NOT CERTAIN WHETHER THIS ASSOCIATION IS GENETICALLY DETERMINED. IT APPEARS THAT, ALTHOUGH SOCIOPATHS AND ALCOHOLICS SHARE A NUMBER OF PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS AS WELL AS A TENDENCY TO ABUSE ALCOHOL, THEY DO NOT SHARE THE SAME BASIC PERSONALITY STRUCTURE. DATA INDICATE AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN DRINKING AND CERTAIN CRIMES AND BETWEEN DRINKING BY ALCOHOLICS AND CERTAIN CRIMES, BUT WHETHER THESE DATA CAN BE EXTENDED TO ESTABLISH AN ASSOCIATION AMONG DRINKING, ALCOHOLISM, AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IS NOT CLEAR. EVEN IF SUCH AN ASSOCIATION WERE ESTABLISHED, IT WOULD NOT BE PROOF OF A CAUSE-AND-EFFECT RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE THREE FACTORS. THE IMPORTANCE OF DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN THE DIAGONSTIC CATEGORIES OF ALCOHOLISM AND SOCIOPATHY HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED. PRIMARY ALCOHOLISM IS CHARACTERIZED BY ALCOHOL ABUSE WITH NO PRIOR HISTORY OF MAJOR PSYCHIATRIC PROBLEMS. SECONDARY ALCOHOLISM IS FOUND AS A COMPLICATION OF SOME OTHER PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS, SUCH AS DEPRESSION OR SOCIOPATHY. ALTHOUGH ALCOHOL ABUSE OFTEN COMPLICATES THE LIVES OF SOCIOPATHS, SOME SOCIOPATHS HAVE NO HISTORY OF ABUSE OF ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS. CLINICAL EVIDENCE AND SOME RESEARCH FINDINGS SUGGEST THE SUBCLASSIFICATION OF SOCIOPATHS AND ALCOHOLICS INTO FOUR TYPES: DRINKING SOCIOPATHS, ALCOHOLIC SOCIOPATHS, SOCIOPATHIC ALCOHOLICS, AND PRIMARY ALCOHOLICS. A DESCRIPTION OF EACH TYPE IS PRESENTED. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED. (LKM)