Home > Trends in alcohol and drug admissions to psychiatric facilities.

Millar, Sean (2017) Trends in alcohol and drug admissions to psychiatric facilities. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 60, Winter 2017 , p. 12.

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Data from Activities of Irish psychiatric units and hospitals 2015, the annual report published by the Mental Health Information Systems Unit of the Health Research Board, have shown that the total number of first admissions to inpatient care for persons with an alcohol disorder has continued to fall.1

 

In 2015, 1188 cases with an alcohol disorder were admitted to psychiatric facilities, of whom 437 were treated for the first time. Figure 1 presents the rates of first admission between 1995 and 2015. Trends observed since 1995 have continued, with a reduction in the rate of first admissions in 2015 compared to 2014. Just over 33% of all cases hospitalised for an alcohol disorder in 2015 stayed just under one week, while 28% of cases were hospitalised for between one and three months.

 

 

However, trends of first admissions for alcohol disorders contrast with those observed for patients with a drug disorder. Figure 2 presents the rates of first admission between 1995 and 2015 for drug disorder cases. In 2015, 1032 persons were admitted to psychiatric facilities with a drug disorder. Of these cases, 448 were treated for the first time, which represents a rate of 9.8 per 100 000 of population, the highest rate recorded since 1995. Since 2006, there has been a general increase in the rate of first admissions. It should be noted, however, that the report does not present data on drug use and psychiatric comorbidity, so it is not possible to determine whether or not these admissions were appropriate.

 

 

 

Other notable statistics on admissions for a drug disorder in 2015 include the following:

  •  Just under one-half (47.1%) of cases hospitalised for a drug disorder stayed less than one week, while 98% were discharged within three months. It should be noted that admissions and discharges represent episodes or events and not persons.
  • 11% of first time admissions were involuntary.
  • The rate of first time admissions was higher for men (14.2 per 100 000 of population) than for women (5.4 per 100 000 of population). 

The overall increase in the rate of drug-related first admissions between 1995 and 2015 may reflect an overall increase in problem drug use within Ireland, and its increasing burden on psychiatric and mental health services.

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  1. Daly A and Craig S (2016) Activities of Irish psychiatric units and hospitals 2015. Dublin: Health Research Board. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/25844/
Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 60, Winter 2017
Date:January 2017
Page Range:p. 12
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 60, Winter 2017
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > State of health > Mental health
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use
G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Substance related mental disorder
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Care by type of problem > Mental health care
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Hospital
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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