Suicide, Addiction, Methamphetamine, Drug Testing, PTSD, Psychiatry
Expert WitnessForensic Expert
Mr. Beckson offers the following:
Suicide and Suicide Risk Assessment
Dr. Beckson has evaluated and treated over 2,000 suicidal individuals. He is highly experienced in clinical risk assessment of suicidality, root cause analysis of suicide, and psychological autopsy of decedents who have committed suicide. He is a Certified Forensic Suicidologist and Certified Psychological Autopsy Investigator (American Association of Suicidology). Dr. Beckson served as medical director of the psychiatric intensive unit of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System for over 18 years including two UCLA psychiatry residency rotations. He holds the rank of Health Sciences Clinical Professor at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine as part of the full time faculty.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse/Addictions
Dr. Beckson has evaluated and treated thousands of individuals addicted to methamphetamine, cocaine, opioid pain medications, marijuana, heroin, and alcohol since 1991, and has developed and run substance abuse treatment programs and addiction psychiatry residency training rotations. He is certified in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Beckson has served as chair of the addiction psychiatry committee of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He has numerous peer reviewed publications of research in substance use disorders, particularly with respect to psychostimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Dr. Beckson has evaluated and treated hundreds of patients with PTSD, including combat veterans and civilian victims of trauma. He has worked with veterans in various contexts since 1986, and has conducted numerous compensation and pension evaluations for claims of PTSD. Dr. Beckson is a member of the International Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress Disorders.
Dr. Beckson is a certified Medical Review Officer (AAMRO) for workplace alcohol and drug testing
Litigation Support Services
Expert witness testimony
Independent medical examination
Areas of Expertise
Mace Beckson, M.D., Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association, is a Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He currently works for the Telemental Health program of the Long Beach VA Healthcare System in addition to his private practice of psychiatry and addiction medicine.
Dr. Beckson specializes in the areas of suicidology, alcohol & drug abuse (including methamphetamine and cocaine) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and forensic psychiatry.
He is Board Certified in Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine. He also is a Certified Forensic Suicidologist, Certified Psychological Autopsy Investigator, Certified Correctional Health Professional, and Certified Medical Review Officer.
Dr. Beckson has numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a member of several professional organizations.
After graduating magna cum laude in biochemical sciences from Harvard College, Dr. Beckson completed his medical studies and internship at Cornell University Medical College-New York Hospital. He did his postgraduate residency training in psychiatry at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and the Brentwood VA Hospital, and completed a behavioral neurology fellowship at the UCLA Reed Neurological Research Institute and VA Medical Center West Los Angeles.
Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
Telemental Health program, Long Beach VA Healthcare System
Private Practice of Psychiatry/Addiction Medicine
Suicidology Committee, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Medical Director, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Director, Intensive Care & Forensic Psychiatry Residency Rotation, UCLA
Private practice of psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, forensic psychiatry
Aggregate Parasuicide Root Cause Analysis Team, VA Greater L.A. Healthcare System
Chief, Intensive Outpatient Treatment of Addictions Day Hospital, VAMC West L.A.
Program Director, Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program, VAMC West L.A.
Co-Director, Brain Imaging Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse-VA MDRC
Quality, Academics and Research Advisory Board, Jail Mental Health Services, L.A. County
Expert Reviewer, California Medical Board
Judicial Action Committee, California Psychiatric Association
Chair, Addiction Psychiatry Committee, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Co-Chair, Patient Rights Committee, VA Greater L.A. Healthcare System
Medical Licenses: California, Florida, New York, Minnesota
Legal Experience & Services
Testimony: approximately 50 trials/arbitrations; 60 depositions
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
American Association of Suicidology
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Academy of Correctional Health Professionals
American Psychiatric Association
California Psychiatric Association
Board Certified in Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry (ABPN)
Board Certified in Addiction Medicine (ABAM)
Certified Forensic Suicidologist (AAS)
Certified Psychological Autopsy Investigator (AAS)
Certified Correctional Health Professional (NCCHC)
Certified Medical Review Officer (ASAM)
Awards & Honors
Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
Oskar Diethelm Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College
Magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences, Harvard College
Selected (complete list in CV):
Kim AH, Beckson M, Jones AW, Berman AL. Psychological autopsy and postmortem toxicology. In: Scott C, Rosner R, Eds. Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry, Third Edition. London: Arnold, 2016
Scott C, Wagoner R, Beckson M. Personal injury litigation. In: Scott C, Ed. DSM-5 and the Law. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 177-200, 2015.
Beckson M, Tucker D. Commentary: craving diagnostic validity in DSM-5 substance use disorders. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law,42:453–458, 2014.
Beckson M, Penn J. Standard of care for suicide risk assessment: how much is enough? American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Newsletter 37(2):17, 29, 2012.
Simpson JR, Beckson M. Methamphetamine in criminal court. American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Newsletter 34(1):18-19, 2009.
Vari G, Beckson M, Weinstock R. Legal issues in inpatient psychiatry. In: Ovsiew F, Munich RL, Eds., Principles of Inpatient Psychiatry. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008, pp. 139-153.
Beckson M. Adolescent substance use and addiction (Special Section Editor’s Introduction). Annals of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry 29:3-17, 2005.
Beckson M, Bartzokis G, Weinstock R. Substance abuse and addiction. In: Rosner R, Ed. Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry, Second Edition. London: Arnold, 2003, pp. 672-684.
Beckson M, Bartzokis G. Brain disease: forensic neuropsychiatric issues. In: Rosner R, Ed. Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry, Second Edition. London: Arnold, 2003, pp. 603-611.
Bartzokis G, Beckson M, Lu PH, Edwards N, Rappaport, Wiseman E, Bridge P. Age-related brain volume reductions in amphetamine and cocaine addicts and normal controls: Implications for addiction research. Psychiatric Research: Neuroimaging Section 98(2): 93-102, 2000.
Harvard College, A.B. magna cum laude in biochemical sciences, 1976-1980
The Rockefeller University, graduate studies in molecular biology, 1980-1983
Cornell University Medical College, M.D., 1980-1985
The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center/Payne Whitney Clinic, intern,1985-1986
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, resident and chief resident, 1986-1989
UCLA Department of Neurology/Division of Neurobehavior, fellow, 1989-1991