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Med Sci Law. 2015 Jul;55(3):216-22. doi: 10.1177/0025802414538247. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

A retrospective cohort study describing six months of admissions under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act; the problem of alcohol misuse.

Author information

1
St George's, University of London, UK.
2
St George's, University of London, UK aobrien@sgul.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 empowers police to remove a person they believe to be suffering from a mental disorder from a place to which the public have access, if they deem them a risk to themselves or others. In the UK, the number of Section 136 orders is increasing.

OBJECTIVE:

This retrospective cohort study identified the demographic profiles, circumstances of detention and assessment outcomes of all individuals detained under Section 136 between February 2012 and July 2012 at a London Mental Health Trust. The study explored the relationship between alcohol and/or drug use, the process and outcomes.

DESIGN AND METHOD:

This study retrospectively obtained data from electronic notes for a six-month period. Demographic details were recorded. Other variables included previous admissions, reasons for assessment, evidence of intoxication, time taken for assessment and discharge outcomes. The effects of alcohol and/or drug intoxication on the process were recorded.

RESULTS:

A total of 245 individuals were assessed during the time period. Threatening to self-harm (n = 100, 44.8%) was the most common reason for assessment. Of the 245 patients assessed, 108 (44.1%) were found to be intoxicated with drugs and/or alcohol. Intoxication resulted in longer assessment times and a decreased likelihood of admission to hospital (p < .000).

KEYWORDS:

Legal system; forensic psychiatry; medical law

PMID:
24966337
DOI:
10.1177/0025802414538247
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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