Evaluation of substance abuse problems in a psychiatric hospital

J Clin Psychiatry. 1978 May;39(5):425-30.


Hospital-wide rumors and anecdotal reports had suggested that there was a potentially serious problem of alcohol and drug abuse among the psychiatric patients of this hospital. The authors describe a systematic, evaluative approach which gave direct and detailed information on the nature and extent of the problem thus permitting effective administrative solutions. Results of the study indicated that there were two qualitatively different populations of substance abusing patients. A considerable population of patients were routinely using alcohol and "soft" drugs on the hospital grounds, while another disturbing percentage of patients gave evidence of psychological or physical dependence on alcohol or hard drugs. Data from the evaluation was instrumental in implementing additional security measures to deal with casual substance abuse and additional, confidential treatment resources to deal with the more serious substance abuse problems in patients and staff.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric*
  • Hospitals, Veterans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pennsylvania
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / psychology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*