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Even Hospitals Not Drug Proof

by Medindia Content Team on May 15, 2006 at 2:00 PM
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Even Hospitals Not Drug Proof

According to the recent BBC survey it is found that there is a link between drug users and mental health problems. Statistics show that about one in seven patients take illegal drugs on the wards. Inside Chase Farm Hospital, in north London, cocaine use is very common among patients. It is said that psychiatric patients with drugs problems kill up to 32 people every year. But Oliver Treacy, borough director for mental health services for Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, admitted that 14% of patients in some wards were currently taking drugs on the premises. He says that the percentage has decreased from 20 % to 14%. Human rights legislation prevents hospitals from randomly searching patients so Chase Farm has brought in sniffer dogs to regularly sweep the wards.

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Nurses say that it is difficult to stop all illegal drugs entering the hospital. The sad situation is that there are no national figures showing how widespread illegal drugs are on psychiatric wards. Peter Phillips, a former nurse, found that about 50% of the patients in hospitals admitted to taking illegal drugs prior to admission. Of which about 83%, admitted to drug use on the wards. Chris whose name is changed for legal purpose is responsible for circulating drugs in the wards. He is diagnosed with bi-polar depression and suffers from violent mood swings. He is 24-year-old, with three children and has been in and out of psychiatric wards since 2001. He has attributed his present condition to his drugs use. He admits to smoking cannabis on the ward. BBC Radio's Five Live Report conducted a sample survey of some dozen mental health trusts and asked them the steps they would take if they found any drugs on wards. NHS trusts have reported that they would not automatically contact the police.

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