Home > Prisoners' views of injecting drug use and harm reduction in Irish prisons.

Long, Jean and Allwright, Shane and Begley, C. (2004) Prisoners' views of injecting drug use and harm reduction in Irish prisons. International Journal of Drug Policy , 15 , (2) , pp. 139-149.

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Drug misuse and hepatitis C are known to be endemic in Irish prisons. Using a grounded theory approach, this qualitative study sought to examine prisoners' views of drug injecting practices and harm reduction interventions in Dublin prisons. Thirty-one male prisoners were interviewed (16 injecting drug users and 15 non-injectors). Two themes relevant to drug use practices emerged. Respondents described increased health risks related to injecting drug use during detention and associated with a prison environment. These included: the low availability of heroin which encouraged a shift from smoking to injecting; the scarcity of injecting equipment which fostered sharing networks far wider than outside prison; inadequate injecting equipment cleaning practices; and the rent of needles and syringes in exchange for the drugs. Both non-injectors and injectors interviewed supported harm reduction interventions in prison and felt that the range of drug services available in prison should mirror those currently available in the community, although half opposed or had reservations about syringe exchange in prison. Prisoners viewed their time in prison as an opportunity to address substance misuse related problems; health professionals should not miss this opportunity.

 

Item Type:Article
Date:April 2004
Page Range:pp. 139-149
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Volume:15
Number:2
Notes:Contains biliographic references. Reprinted from International Journal of Drug Policy 15(2) Prisoners' views of injecting drug use and harm reduction in Irish prisons 139-149 (2004), with permission from Elsevier (Periodical Article)
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Subjects:T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Prison-based health service
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
T Demographic characteristics > Prison Inmate (prisoner)
G Health and disease > Etiology > Disease transmission factor > Needle sharing

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