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Outcomes for Patients Discharged to Involuntary Commitment for Substance Use Disorder Directly from the Hospital

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To evaluate the outcomes of patients discharged to involuntary commitment for substance use disorders directly from the hospital. We performed a retrospective chart review of 22 patients discharged to involuntary commitment for substance use disorder from the hospital between October 2016 and February 2020. We collected demographic data, details about each commitment episode, and healthcare utilization outcomes 1 year following involuntary commitment. Nearly all patients had a primary alcohol use disorder (91%) and had additional medical (82%) and psychiatric comorbidities (71%). One year following involuntary commitment, all patients had relapsed to substance use and had at least one emergency department visit while 78.6% had at least one admission. These findings suggest that patients discharged to involuntary commitment directly from the hospital universally relapsed and experienced significant medical morbidity during the first year following their release. This study adds to a growing literature recognizing the harms of involuntary commitment for substance use disorder.

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Correspondence to John C. Messinger.

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This quality assurance project was determined to not meet criteria for human subjects research by our institutional review board and therefore did not require informed consent.

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Messinger, J.C., Vercollone, L., Weiner, S.G. et al. Outcomes for Patients Discharged to Involuntary Commitment for Substance Use Disorder Directly from the Hospital. Community Ment Health J 59, 1300–1305 (2023).

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