This echoes findings in DrugScope's Street Drug Survey, published last week, where we reported that many respondents were finding that synthetic cannabinoids were readily available in prisons and many people referred into services from jails came out with dangerous levels of use of the drugs.
One drug worker said that inmates at a Liverpool prison had become so used to emergency services being called out when people collapsed after taking Black Mamba that ambulances are now known as ‘the Mambalance’.The last annual report from the HMI for prisons found that around 26% of new arrivals at prison had substance misuse and 19% had alcohol misuse needs. The report makes a number of useful points about substance misuse services in prison:
- Prisons continued to focus on recovery working, which was appropriate, usually with active peer support and service user engagement.
- A quarter of inspected prisons were not focused enough on the needs of prisoners with alcohol problems.
- In a minority of services, recovery working was undermined by enforced reduction or inflexible prescribing, which did not adhere to best practice guidelines.
- Prison substance misuse services offered psychosocial support to prisoners and clinical management of opiate substitution therapy. However, full psychosocial support was not available in a quarter of services and prisoners’ needs were not met.
- Clinical management in most prisons was flexible and catered to individual need. However, some options were limited by the refusal of the prison or SMS provider to prescribe buprenorphine, which was contrary to national guidance.
The following slides are compilation of the statistics that we've seen over the last year which helps describe some of what is going on about drugs and prisons.
Update - Channel 4 have uncovered some new information through social media accounts of current prisoners: