Substance abusers in an acute psychiatric facility: a diagnostic and logistic challenge





ISRN psychiatry;2013





Acute resident psychiatric facilities in Norway usually get their patients after referral from a medical doctor. Acute psychiatric wards are the only places accepting persons in need of emergency hospitalisation when emergency units in somatic hospitals do not accept the patient. Resident patients at one random chosen day were scrutinized in an acute psychiatric facility with 36 beds serving a catchment area of 165 000. Twenty-five patients were resident in the facility at that particular day. Eight of 25 resident patients (32.0%) in the acute wards were referred for a substance-induced psychosis (SIP). Another patient may also have had a SIP, but the differential diagnostic work was not finished. A main primary diagnosis of substance use was given in the medical reports in only 12.9% of patients during the last year. Given that the chosen day was representative of the year, a majority of patients with substance abuse problems were given other diagnoses. There seems to be a reluctance to declare the primary reason for an acute stay in a third of resident stays. Lack of specialized emergency detoxification facilities may have contributed to the results.



Copyright © 2013 John E. Berg and Asbjørn Restan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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