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Practitioner 2009;253(1716):18

Pattern of women's drug use alters in prison

29 Mar 2009Registered users

Pattern of women's drug use alters in prison Illegal drug use is reduced when women enter prison and their pattern of misuse changes from street drugs to prescription medicines. Prior to imprisonment, just over half of the women entered into the study had been using an illicit drug on a daily basis, and 38% were ever injectors. Following entry into custody, 14% of the sample continued to use an illicit drug daily, and 2% of women continued to inject. The study used participants from 13 women's prisons across England. 'This study highlights the many challenges facing prison-based primary care services. These include:
* providing adequate drug treatment services which are effective in reducing illicit drug use
* harm reduction initiatives to lower the prevalence of injecting use with its related risks
* policy and practice which minimise the opportunity for prescribed medication to be diverted as a source of illicit drugs
* prevention of post-release opiate overdose death in those who stop using heroin on admission to prison and lose opiate tolerance.'

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