Tranquilisers are types of depressant drugs used medicinally to treat disorders such as anxiety and insomnia. They work by slowing down the processes of the brain, and can be highly addictive. Minor tranquilisers such as diazepam (e.g. Valium) and oxazepam (e.g. Serapam) are often prescribed by doctors or taken recreationally, despite risks of addiction and other health effects.
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The use of tranquilisers recreationally is outlawed across Australia, due to their highly addictive and dangerous qualities. As such, experts in the medical effects of such drugs are often required in cases involving the sale of tranquilisers, dangerous behaviour as a result of tranquiliser ingestion, or death/injury to tranquiliser users.
Pharmacological/toxicological experts specialising in tranquilisers may be required to provide opinions on:
• Causes of death in tranquiliser users
• The effects of tranquilisers on those involved in crimes or civil disputes
• Appropriate sentencing for those with dependencies on tranquilisers
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.
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
Minor tranquillisers, or benzodiazepines, are nervous system depressants commonly prescribed to treat anxiety or insomnia. This class of prescription drug is highly addictive and should only be used under supervision of a doctor.
Long‐term benzodiazepine use: Problems for the criminal justice system
Benzodiazepines (BZs) were introduced into clinical practice in the 1960's. The major indications for their use are to treat anxiety, as sedative‐hypnotics, anti‐convulsants, muscle relaxants and pre‐anaesthetics.
Alramadan v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW)  NSWCCA 322
Expert pharmacologist required to comment on the effect of diazepam ingestion on a victim in a case of rape.
R v Hunt  NSWCCA 301
Case where multiple expert pharmacologists commented on the effect of a man’s oxazepam overdose in the subsequent murder of his partner.
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