Home > The use of prescription medication in prisons in Northern Ireland.

Higgins, Kathryn and Kelly, G and O'Neill, N and O'Hara, L and Campbell, Ann (2019) The use of prescription medication in prisons in Northern Ireland. Queen's University Belfast.

PDF (The use of prescription medication in prisons in Northern Ireland) - Published Version

Aims and objectives

The primary aim of the current research was to examine the use of prescription medication in prisons across Northern Ireland from the perspectives of prisoners, prison officers and healthcare staff. We did not seek to examine the prescribing of these substances, rather the use of drugs that are commonly prescribed and consumption of these drugs with and/or without prescription. It also aimed to examine how prescription drug use fits into the wider portfolio of drug use in prisons.


Principal research questions:

Are prescription drugs (PDs) more or less available than illicit drugs and/or NPS?

Are they used singularly or in tandem with other drugs?

Is use always based on availability?

What might help in terms of diversion?


However, while the study did not set out to examine the prescribing of substances, the issue of prescribing practices emerged frequently during discussions with all participants and because of this, represented an integral part of the analysis and subsequent findings.

Date:January 2019
Pages:80 p.
Publisher:Queen's University Belfast
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Related URLs:
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Prescription drug (medicine / medication)
F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > risk-taking behaviour
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Prison-based health service
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
T Demographic characteristics > Prison Inmate (prisoner)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland

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