Prison and drugs in Europe
On a given day, there are more than 600 000 people in prison in the European Union, with prison population rates varying greatly between countries. People in prison are more likely than their peers: to have used drugs, to use drugs regularly and to experience abuse and dependence. The lifetime prevalence of drug use in persons in prison in Europe varies between 15% and 70%, which is much higher than among peers in the community. International and European policy documents such as the EU Drug Strategy and the Nelson Mandela Rules put emphasis on ensuring that the care received by drug users in penal institutions is equivalent to that provided by health services in the community (‘equivalence of care’); although progress has been seen inside prison, still much has to be done to equal health and social services in the community.
The current session aims to discuss current and future challenges for the prisons and drugs field in Europe, including new trends in drug use, specific user groups, changes in prison health governance and the broader policy debate.