2. Characteristics associated with drug use during the current detention – results from prison surveys in 4 EU countriessurveys in 4 EU countries
People in prison have significant higher risk of using drugs compared to those in freedom. We aim in this abstract to provide insight into different characteristics between people who use drugs during their current detention and those who do not.
Data of four European countries collected through the European Questionnaire on Drug use among people in Prison (EQDP) were used for bivariate analyses on age, gender, prison history, offence and illicit drug use in prison. Simple random sampling in Lithuania (N=463 in 2017), Czechia (N=284 in 2018) as well as convenience sampling in Latvia (N=2499 in 2018), Slovenia (N=547 in 2015) were used for the data collection.
23.6% reported illicit drug use during the current detention (17.3% in Latvia, 25.1% in Lithuania, 69.4% in Czechia and 27.4% in Slovenia). Compared to those who did not report illicit drug use during current detention, significantly more people were younger than 35 years (54.9% Latvia, 62.1% Lithuania, 57.9% Czechia and 66.0% Slovenia), were incarcerated multiple times (67.6% in Latvia, 78.5% in Lithuania, 62.4% in Czechia and 60.0% in Slovenia), committed drug-related offences (48.8% in Latvia, 57.8% in Lithuania, 33.5% in Czechia and 60.0% in Slovenia) and reported illicit drug use before detention (94.6% in Latvia, 87.6% in Lithuania, 95.8% in Czechia and 88.8% in Slovenia).
The results support a prioritization towards young people with a prison history, those who committed a drug-related offence and those that used illicit drugs prior to detention when implementing effective drug-related interventions in European prison.