OBJECTIVES: This paper considers the impact of having a diagnosis of substance use disorder on the utilisation of compulsory orders under the Victorian Mental Health Act (2014).
METHODS: We analysed the subsequent treatment episodes over 2 years of people who had been on a community treatment order for at least 3 months and determined the odds of a further treatment order if there was a diagnosis of substance use at or about the time the index community treatment order ended.
RESULTS: An additional diagnosis of a substance use disorder was coded in 47.7% and was associated with significantly increased odds of a subsequent treatment order in the following 2 years for those with a main diagnosis of schizophrenia (AOR = 3.03, p<0.001) and 'other' disorders (AOR = 11.60, p=0.002). Those with a main diagnosis of mood disorder had a significant increase in odds for an inpatient treatment order if there was an additional substance use disorder diagnosis (AOR = 3.81, p=0.006).
CONCLUSIONS: Having an additional diagnosis of substance use disorder was associated with increased likelihood of being placed on an order. This study supports greater emphasis being given to treatment of substance use concurrently with that of mental illness.