"My first 48 hours out"
Comprehensive approaches to pre and post prison release interventions for drug users in the criminal justice system
Projektbeschreibung: For prisoners with a history of drug use, in particular opioid use, the risks related to drug use, in particular overdose and death are extremely high in the immediate period after release due to high rates of relapse and lower opioid tolerance (Farrell and Marsden, 2008). Much still needs to be done in order to ensure that people with a severe history of drug use are sufficiently cared for, when released from prisons. Harm reduction measures need to be in place for ex-prisoners to be able to readjust to freedom without relapsing back into drug use and extreme risk of fatal overdose when released.
The immediate time after release (“my first 48 hours out”) is a critical time for action, when the cooperation between prisons, healthcare providers and NGOs is key in ensuring continuity of care and where targeted interventions can save lives from overdose and build a path towards engagement into further treatment and rehabilitation for drug users.
The project aims at addressing the gaps in the continuity of care for long-term drug users in prison and upon release, by supporting life-saving interventions for the prevention of overdoses and reduction of other risks related to drug use and for the establishment of a treatment path, which does not get interrupted upon release.
The specific objectives of the project are:
1. Complement knowledge on risk behaviour for drug users in prison and upon release by giving a voice to the drug users communities through qualitative participatory research in 4 European countries – WP1;
2. Advocate and promote the implementation of life saving services for drug users in prison and upon release by producing hands on guidelines for policy makers and practitioners from prison health services on how to promote, initiate and manage services related to overdose prevention through naloxone programs and related training and capacity building (WP 2 and 4);
3. Educate grass root organisations and drug users, as well as practitioners working with them in prison and upon release on risks related to drug use upon release and risk reduction practices, through the production of practical and accessible educational materials (WP 2 and 4);
4. Produce and disseminate knowledge and good practice on continuity of care – including medical care and drug treatment (provision of substitution treatment, antiretroviral treatment and hepatitis treatment) and social support (WP 3);
5. Co-construct and disseminate evidence and good practice on continuity of care and harm reduction in prison and upon release to a wider European public of different stakeholders, promoting active interaction between stakeholders from different countries, through a European “Knowledge and expertise web portal” (WP 5)
Working on continuity of care and treatment, on harm reduction and on the prevention of death linked to drug use and overdose for people involved in the criminal justice system and in prison, requires approaches which can meaningfully address the different groups of stakeholders and beneficiaries which have a say in the introduction, development, definition, design, delivery, monitoring and accessing services for drug users in the criminal justice system. These involve: policy makers in the area of health and criminal justice, prison administrations representatives and security staff in prison, health and social sector professionals working in the criminal justice system (depending from Ministries of Justice, Interior, Health or Social Services and with different organisational structures in different Member States), health and social sector practitioners, grass root organisations, NGOs and other services providing care for people who use drugs and clearly the end beneficiaries, drug users, which will be meaningfully involved in the current project.
Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Heino Stöver
Auftraggeber: Europäische Union
Laufzeit: 2 Jahre
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