No recent information is available on drug use among prisoners in Greece, but data are available on prisoners undergoing drug treatment and on treatment clients in the community who have been in prison. Approximately one third of prisoners in drug treatment have been diagnosed with a psychiatric comorbidity. Among drug treatment clients in the community, based on the treatment demand indicator data, the percentage of clients who have had a prison experience during their life is nearly 60 %.
The main treatment-related objectives of the Greek National Drug Action Plan (2014-16) concerning prisons are to eliminate disparities in the access to health services and to protect the right of treatment for all citizens through the creation of new support services for drug users within the prison system. In order to respond to these needs, treatment programmes (outpatient and inpatient) and specific support interventions, such as individual and group counselling, information, motivation and awareness-raising activities, self-help groups and relapse prevention, have been developed in prisons.
In 2015, there were seven treatment programmes operating in five prisons across four regions, including OST. These programmes offer relapse prevention and testing and treatment for infectious diseases. In addition, 10 programmes implemented psychosocial support interventions in 25 prisons, meeting the needs of several areas of the country. These programmes offer a number of services, including information and counselling, harm reduction and death prevention. Relapse prevention is less common within these programmes.
Imprisoned drug users who opt for treatment undergo a three-week detoxification programme before being admitted for drug treatment in prison. Following the successful completion of the programme in prison, they may be granted conditional release to attend a treatment programme outside the prison setting. The time spent in the treatment programme counts as time served.
In 2015, there were seven drug treatment programmes operating in five prisons across four regions, including opioid substitution treatment