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September 20, 1971

Covert Drug Abuse Among Voluntary Hospitalized Psychiatric Patients

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medical services and research, Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY.

JAMA. 1971;217(12):1659-1661. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190120027005

A survey of 332 young psychiatric patients, by means of repeated urinary chromatographic analyses, revealed that at least 60% of these patients employed abusable drugs while hospitalized. Barbiturates were detected most frequently, and addiction did not occur among patients who remained in the hospital. The high incidence of drug abuse in hospitalized patients must be considered in the light of alterations of psychiatric states and in the interpretation of treatment results. The chromatographic screening of the urine of hospitalized patients for nonprescribed drugs is recommended.