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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Graeme Wilson
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While prison is recognised as a setting for infectious disease transmission among drug users, little is known about psychological and situational factors influencing high-risk behaviours, knowledge vital to prison-based interventions. Qualitative interview and focus group data were collected from staff and prisoners in six Scottish prisons. A general view was that prison heroin use had increased, but injecting and sharing remained a covert and minority behaviour. ‘Anti-injecting culture’ among staff and most prisoners emerged as an important factor, though not linked by prisoners to an ‘anti-drug culture’. Of individual and social risk factors identified, only the desire to inject in prison for maximum effect was unique to prison injectors and sharers. This decision-based behaviour requires further theory-focused research. Given these findings, introducing needle exchanges into Scottish prisons could undermine their low drug injection rates. Enabling injecting, albeit within a public health framework, conflicts with the major prison objective of rehabilitation.
Author(s): Wilson GB, Galloway J, Shewan D, Marshall L, Vojt G, Marley C
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Addiction Research & Theory
Print publication date: 01/04/2007
ISSN (print): 1606-6359
ISSN (electronic): 1476-7392
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