Changing patterns of substance misuse in adult prisons and service responses.

Changing patterns of substance misuse in adult prisons and service responses.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons [UK] HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 2015.

Inspection findings on individual prisons were supplemented by fieldwork in eight prisons in 2014 to generate an overall picture of drug use and responses to it in prisons and England and Wales. In the face of rapidly changing and varied drug use patterns, policy and operational responses were seen as insufficiently flexible and dynamic.

Prisoners are more likely than the general population to have histories of drug misuse, and in some cases this misuse continues in prison. When work on this inspection began, there had been a recognised shift away from the use of opiates and drugs controlled under class A of the Misuse of Drugs Act [such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines] towards the misuse of medication in prisons. During this work patterns of substance misuse in prison changed again and the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS), and in particular synthetic cannabis, emerged as a major problem.

The inspection drew on 61 reports on prisons published by HM Inspectorate of Prisons between April 2014 and August 2015. A total of 10,702 survey responses were included in the analysis.

These inspection findings were supplemented with findings from fieldwork conducted in eight prisons between June and November 2014, including 1,218 responses to a confidential survey which asked prisoners about their drug use before going into custody and in their current prison.
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