Substance misuse

The drugs culture in prisons mirrors that which exists in the community. The Northern Ireland Prison Service has operated a specific Drugs Policy and Strategy since 1996.

Drugs policy and strategy

This policy states:

"Where a prisoner has been identified as having a drug related problem he or she will be offered assistance to address that problem and medical care as appropriate. A prisoner may be offered a range of treatment programmes including primary care in the Health Centre, specialist referrals and, in conjunction with other service providers, programmes targeted at substance abuse."

The approach adopted throughout the Northern Irleand Prison Service focuses on reducing the supply of drugs into prisons and developing ways of working with prisoners to reduce drug use.

The Prison Service has a responsibility and duty to prevent the smuggling of drugs into prisons. Apart from the health problems caused by drugs they also lead to intimidation and bullying in prisons and an unsafe environment for both staff and prisoners.

More widely, the pressure that might be applied to a prisoner's family and friends to traffick in drugs or pay for their habit can cause additional misery and hardship.

The Service is committed to tackling the problem head on with every measure at its disposal.

NIPS and the Setrust are currently working on a joint strategy.

Alcohol and Drugs: Empowering people through therapy (AD:EPT )

AD:EPT (Alcohol and Drugs: Empowering people through therapy) drug and alcohol service is delivered by Opportunity Youth across the 3 sites of NIPS and in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.

AD:EPT is a comprehensive drug and alcohol service providing a range of services to people in custody who have problems associated with the misuse of substances.

Interventions provided by AD:EPT include:

  • Core Harm Reduction Awareness session
  • Addictions Assessment and Individualised Care Planning
  • 1-2-1 Casework
  • 1-2-1 Behaviour Change Counselling
  • Harm Reduction/ Paraphernalia Care Planning
  • Pre Release Session
  • Relapse Prevention Session
  • Failed Drug Test Review Session
  • Delivery of Approved Subsance Misuse Programmes (PASRO)

AD:EPT work as part of a multi disciplinary team in the prisons and in particular the Clinical Addiction Team with the aim of delivering and promoting recovery by those whom are presenting with drug or alcohol problems.

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