Mischa Barton Locked Up For Her Own Good

Tons of sources are reporting that Mischa Barton has been placed under involuntary psychiatric hold, after phoning the police non-emergency line at 3PM Wednesday with “a medical problem.” A patrol officer arrived, placed her in custody, and ushered her to Cedars-Sinai. Mischa’s drug usage has been a problem for years, but how bad do things have to get, to warrant an involuntary psych hold?

You have to work pretty hard to get an involuntary psychiatric hold (California section 5150). Many of us over a certain age are familiar with the 5150 as the title of Van Halen’s 1986 album. To get placed under a 5150, you have to present a clear and present danger either to yourself or others. It’s not something they hand out lightly. Usually they just arrest you, ya know?

I went looking, and despite all the celebrities who have been arrested for all the drugs and all the presenting of clear and present dangers, I was only able to find two instances of a public figure getting a 5150. Most recently and famously, a 5150 was slapped on Britney Spears, after she went on her tattoos and head-shaving mini-rampage, then locked herself in a room with her son Jayden. A 5150 was also used to hold Matthew Wilson, a promising young college student at Rice University who went missing one day, only to turn up in Berkeley six months later with a crazy beard, using some school equipment in an empty classroom.

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