Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-6488

+44 1223 790975


Proposing a Psychological Autopsy Procedure for Post Mortem Examination of Accidental Fatal Overdose Cases

Hakansson A and Ellen Gerle

Psychological autopsies have been suggested and used for clinical and forensic investigation, as well as for research purposes, in investigation surrounding a completed suicide. While accidental drug overdose death constitutes a major clinical and forensic challenge, psychological autopsy rarely has been mentioned as a potential tool in post mortem investigations of these causes of death. This is in contrast to the high number of established risk factors described in the literature on drug overdose deaths. Consequently, based on the vast literature on overdose risk factors, we here propose the use of psychological autopsies for the investigation of events and circumstances preceding cases of overdose death.