This publication provides an overview of current knowledge and the latest developments in the field of drug use and prison in Europe. 

20th October 2021 • comment
27th June 2019 • comment
3rd January 2019 • comment
31st July 2018 • comment
13th June 2018 • comment
25th May 2018 • comment
1st November 2017 • comment

This publication sheds light on the situation of drug users among criminal justice populations and corresponding health care responses in nine countries in Eastern and South-East Europe and Kosovo. 

25th September 2017 • comment

England's drug strategy 2017

by Editorial team

England has launched a new drug strategy, to reduce illicit drug use and increase the rate of individuals recovering from drug dependence. There is specific mention of health and justice issues which may be of particular interest.

9th August 2017 • comment

Aims The aims were to (1) estimate the prevalence of alcohol and drug use disorders in prisoners on reception to prison and (2) estimate and test sources of between study heterogeneity.

5th July 2017 • comment

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasingly viewed as a global health crisis, demonstrated by an escalating prevalence of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory disease. The four key modifiable risk factors identified for NCDs are smoking, alcohol, inadequate physical activity, and unhealthy diet. In 2008, 36 million of 57 million deaths worldwide were attributable to NCDs. Of these, 14 million were attributable to unhealthy diet, 3 million to insufficient physical activity, and 3 million to obesity

20th April 2012 • comment

Tobacco-smoking prevalence has been decreasing in many high-income countries, but not in prison. We provide a summary of recent data on smoking in prison (United States, Australia, and Europe), and discuss examples of implemented policies for responding to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), their health, humanitarian, and ethical aspects. We gathered data through a systematic literature review, and added the authors’ ongoing experience in the implementation of smoking policies outside and inside prisons in Australia and Europe. Detainees’ smoking prevalence varies between 64 per cent and 91.8 per cent, and can be more than three times as high as in the general population. 

16th December 2010 • comment

Heroin dependence is associated with severe negative outcomes such as HIV and hepatitis C transmission, criminal activity, imprisonment and death from opioid overdose. Opioid substitution treatment (OST) is the most effective treatment available for heroin dependence, resulting in reduced heroin use, HIV transmission, criminal activity and mortality. It is cost-effective and has higher retention rates than other forms of treatment for drug dependence. OST is available in at least 66 countries and territories, including low- and middle-income nations such as China, Indonesia and Iran. The World Health Organization, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime have recommended the implementation of OST in prisons as an essential part of HIV prevention programming. It is argued that, as in the community, heroin-using inmates treated with opioid substitution will inject drugs less often, thus reducing the risk of HIV transmission between prisoners sharing needles and syringes. Other grounds for implementing OST in prisons include improvements in inmate manageability and prison safety and reductions in postrelease criminal activity and re-incarceration.

1st March 2009 • comment

Objectives: The aim was to determine whether methadone maintenance treatment reduced heroin use, syringe sharing and HIV or hepatitis C incidence among prisoners. Methods: All eligible prisoners seeking drug treatment were randomised to methadone or a waitlist control group from 1997 to 1998 and followed up after 4 months. Heroin use was measured by hair analysis and self report; drugs used and injected and syringe sharing were measured by self report. Hepatitis C and HIV incidence was measured by serology. Results: Of 593 eligible prisoners, 382 (64%) were randomised to MMT (n=191) or control (n=191). 129 treated and 124 control subjects were followed up at 5 months. Heroin use was significantly lower among treated than control subjects at follow up. Treated subjects reported lower levels of drug injection and syringe sharing at follow up. There was no difference in HIV or hepatitis C incidence. Conclusions: Consideration should be given to the introduction of prison methadone programs particular where community based programs exist.

23rd October 2003 • comment