Prevalence and Predictors of Temporary Psychiatric Hold Among a Cohort of People who Inject Drugs

California’s Welfare and Institutions code 5150 allows for a temporary psychiatric hold (TPH) of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others and/or may be gravely disabled due to mental illness -- however, little is known about the characteristics of TPH among people who inject drugs (PWID). Involving PISC External Advisory board member Ricky Bluthenthal, PhD, this study looked at a community-recruited sample of PWID in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California during 2017–2018 and used multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate demographic variables associated with recent TPH. It found that age, current homelessness, lifetime mental health history, and frequency of methamphetamine use were statistically associated with increased odds of having experienced a TPH, while frequency of past month heroin/opioid use was associated with decreased odds. These results imply that diverse factors are associated with TPH among PWID, and warrants further investigation on PWID with co-occurring substance use, mental illness disorders, and homelessness.

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