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Home > Drug-related deaths among recently released prisoners in Ireland, 1998 to 2005.

Lyons, Suzi and Walsh, Simone and Lynn, Ena and Long, Jean (2010) Drug-related deaths among recently released prisoners in Ireland, 1998 to 2005. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 6, (1), pp. 26-32.

The aim of this study was to investigate deaths following release from prison among individuals recorded on the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI). A descriptive analysis of individuals with a history of imprisonment in the NDRDI from 1998 to 2005 was undertaken.

Between 1998 and 2005, 130 (5.3%) of the recorded cases had a documented history of imprisonment, 105 of whom were not in prison at the time of their death. Of these 105, 89% were male, 62% were aged between 20 and 29 years, 84% were unemployed, and 10% were homeless. Almost two thirds (61%) had a history of injecting drug use, and 34% were reported to be injecting at the time of their death. Almost one third (28.1%) of the deaths occurred within the first week of release from prison, with a further 18% in the first month. Opiates were implicated in 89% of all poisonings in the first month after release from prison. Additionally, 62% of these poisonings involved polysubstance use. The study highlights the need for more intensive prevention measures in the period immediately following release from Irish prisons, including the development of a national overdose prevention strategy.


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