The department was founded in November, 1972. Professor P.P.Volkov was the first head of the department (1972-1993). The 70s were marked as the years of intense development of drug abuse treatment services. The first chief narcologist of the Republic of Belarus was an associate professor of the department – A.F.Skugarevsky, under whose supervision there had been created and started to function narcological dispensaries and occupational therapy rehabilitation centers. In the following years, A.F.Skugarevsky got the academic title of a professor, and after the retirement of P.P.Volkov in 1993, he became head of the department. In the 70-80s, associate professor F.F.Gordeenya was in charge of the drug addiction services in the Republic of Belarus.
A prominent figure in the history of the department was assistant V.I.Evmenenko. Candidate’s thesis of assistant L.I.Sohnenko, working at the department in the 80th, was devoted to psychiatric problems at leukoencephalitis. Assistant A.S.Klimovich (1986-1993), studied the problem of medical-labour expertise and social rehabilitation at mental diseases.
Professor V.T.Kondrashenko, who worked in the field of adolescent psychiatry, neuroses and psychotherapy, and who later (1991) became the founder of the Department of Psychotherapy of BelMAPE, contributed greatly into the development of the department. Associate professor, Candidate of Medical Sciences, V.I.Savchenko started his career at the department in 1973 and finished it in 2002. From the early 90s and until 2004, he was in charge of forensic psychiatric services in the Republic of Belarus.
Former specialists, postgraduate students and clinical residents of the department successfully work at different establishments: A.A.Aleksandrov, Candidate of Medical Sciences worked as a chief narcologist of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus in 2008-2011, S.I. Zanskaya – as a chief psychiatrist of the Ministry of Health of Republic of Belarus, V.V.Golubovich, Candidate of Medical Sciences – as head of the Department of Forensic Psychiatry, E.I.Tereschuk, Candidate of Medical Sciences – as associate professor of the Department of Psychotherapy of BelMAPE, M.M.Vazhenin, Candidate of Medical Sciences – as a senior scientific researcher of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health, Y.I.Ostyanko, Candidate of Medical Sciences – as head of the Division of Complicated Expertise of the State Forensic Services, S.V. Davidovsky – as a deputy chief physician of Minsk Psychoneurological Dispensary.
Some of the former specialists are successfully working abroad: N.V.Malykhin, Candidate of Medical Sciences, works as an associate professor at the Department of Pharmacology in Alberta (Canada), V.A.Dyachenko works as a psychiatrist in Prague and Chakira Adnan - as a psychiatrist in Horns (Syria). In September, 1995, when professor R.A.Evstegneev started to work at the department, there had been started a new period with great developments there, which could be explained by great changes in psychiatric science, practice and education in the late 90s.
In 1995-1997, the Ministry of Health created and approved new educational programs, qualification criteria for psychiatrists and narcologists, based on the principles of international classification of mental disorders which were considered at the 10th meeting (10th Minsk City Clinical Hospital), the principles were top-priority in the world psychiatry at the early 90th. A number of fundamentally new sets of courses had been created, which were designed for different types of physicians: primary specialization for trainees, thematic advanced training courses for lecturers working at medical higher educational establishments, doctors of primary healthcare, narcologists and etc.
Under the supervision of professor R.A. Evsegneev, 10 Candidate’s theses had been defended. There are some of them: “Suicidal behavior of patients with confusional insanity” (E.V. Lasy), «Clinical and epidemiologic research of post-natal depression» (V.V. Golubovich); «Confusional insanity and bipolar affective disorder in patients with сo-occurring alcohol addiction syndrome» (A.A. Aleksandrov); «Transcultural research of patients with alcohol dependency in the Republic of Belarus and Germany» (O.R. Aizberg); «Mental disorders in men with arterial hypertension and sexual dysfunctions» (Y.I. Ostyanko); «Early psychoorganic disorders in patients with chronic diseases of liver of alcohol genesis» (E.P. Stanko). Also thesis works have been defended in the following fields: psychiatric sociology (S.V.Davidovsky), panic disorder (E.I.Tereschuk), treatment of schizoaffective disorders (N.V. Malykhin), « Personality disorders in patients with recurrent depressive disorder» (I.I. Khvostova).
Professor R.A.Evstegneev was an initiator of the Law of the Republic of Belarus 'About psychiatric care and guarantees of the rights of patients during treatment' and did the main work while creating a draft of this document (1997-1999). This law was adopted by the House of Representatives, approved by the Council of the Republic of Belarus and came into force on the 1st of July, 1999. It was the first legal document in the history of our country, which regulates the procedures of psychiatric services, rights and responsibilities of physicians, patients, state and public organizations, which render psychiatric medical care.
The staff of the department together with other specialists created the first protocols in Belarus: «Protocols of diagnostics and treatment of psychiatric and behavioural disorders in the system of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus», which had been approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health and came into force in August, 2005. The second version of the protocols was also created with the participation of specialists of the department and was approved in 2010. At present, specialists of the department perform thesis works on judicial-psychiatric expertise of the casualties, insight at schizophrenia (D.A. Krupchenko), gender peculiarities of suicidal behavior (O.A. Parovaya), suicidal behavior at alcohol addiction (K.S. Zharankov), prognosis of detoxication successfulness at opioid dependence (D.A. Statkevich), psychiatric examination of the casualties (T. Krinchik). Since 2005, the department was renamed into the Department of Psychiatry and Addictology.
In 2012, specialists of the department developed a new set of lectures «New aspects in diagnostics and treatment of behavioral and psychosocial disorders in childhood and adolescence».
In 2010, specialists of the department actively participated in the development of the new protocol «Clinical protocol of medical care rendered to patients with behavioural and psychosocial disorders», approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus №1387 of 31.12.2010. Staff of the Department of Psychiatry and Narcology took part in the development of the new Law «About rendering of psychiatric help», which came into force in July, 2012.
Clinical residents from Peru, Georgia, and Yemen undergo training at the department.