Experts who have knowledge of addiction, and its psychological and physiological components, would be able to provide specialised assessments of information relating to addiction. The pathology of addiction is a neurological disorder where compulsive behaviour leads to adverse life consequences. The brain’s dopamine reward system becomes hijacked, making it extremely difficult to break the cycle of dependence. In addition, there are number of socio-economic, epigenetic, and psychological factors the contribute to the process whereby stimuli are perceived as abnormally desirable or pleasurable.
Many substances can cause addiction, the most familiar being opioids, amphetamines, nicotine in cigarettes, and alcohol.
Behaviours can also become addictive: eating, gambling, shopping, internet surfing, playing computer games, consuming pornography, sexual promiscuity, and hoarding. In both cases, the cumulative effect becomes mentally and physically disruptive, leading to financial ruin, unemployment, the break-up of families, abandonment by social circles, and suicide.
There have been many historical episodes where entire societies can be profoundly impacted by addiction: the gin-craze in mid-18th century Britain, opium in mid-19th century China, and the current prescription and synthetic opioid epidemic in eastern USA where there is an overdose every few minutes. Death tolls can be enormous, dwarfing homicide, suicide, and vehicle accidents. The addicted can overwhelm health and other government services such as counselling and rehabilitation.
The response by governments, health departments, media awareness campaigns, and medical associations need to carefully balance legal prohibitions with what is known about the medicalisation of addiction. Feedback from experts in addiction is necessary as to how to best prevent and treat addiction, after a litany of disastrous government policies throughout the 20th century e.g. the ‘War on Drugs’, zero tolerance, mandatory minimums, ‘Truth in Sentencing’, etc.
Rehabilitation methods also need to be placed on an empirical foundation. In the USA, an unregulated environment meant anyone could concoct their own rehabilitation program (religious, spiritual, 12-step, CBT, psychoanalysis, cold-turkey withdrawal retreats, etc) without any oversight or evaluation about efficacy.
The societal costs of addiction are dominated by healthcare and law-enforcement e.g. hospital accident and emergency departments and ambulance paramedics are normally the first line of defence. But there is also long term inpatient care as well as outpatient follow-up e.g. lung cancer from smoking, liver cirrhosis and dementia from chronic alcohol consumption, and the dental impact from chronic methamphetamine use). Indirect costs include the loss of productivity and associated welfare costs, fatal and non-fatal accidents (e.g. traffic collisions), drug-related crimes, suicides, homicides, and incarceration, among others.
At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget.Expertise in Action
Medical experts in addiction can give opinion in criminal trials relating to crimes arising from drug, alcohol, gambling dependence. Experts in the pathology of addiction can give opinions on whether particular products and services contributed to addiction in the pharmaceutical industry, retail environment, or in the workplace, and can advise on appropriate government policy. Experts can also comment on the efficacy of rehabilitation programs.Sample Reports
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.Cost
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Statistics for Australia show recent increases in the use of opioids, and opioid-related poisonings, overdoses and deaths. This reflects international trends.Triple-fatal driver was heading home from methadone clinic
The motorist suspected of causing the horrific south coast crash that killed himself and a Sydney couple, and left actress Jessica Falkholt and her sister fighting for their lives in hospital, was driving home from a methadone clinic.Relevant Cases R v Henry Barber Tran Silver Tsoukatos Kyroglou Jenkins  NSWCCA 111
Drug addiction is a circumstance relevant to sentencing, but it is not itself a mitigating factor. The existence of a causal relationship between drug addiction and the commission of an offence should not automatically result in a lesser sentence.Related Blog Articles
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