Drug use and responses in prison in Malta 2017

Malta Country Drug Report 2017

Drug use and responses in prison

According to the last available data from 2014, fewer than half of prisoners had a history of drug use prior to imprisonment and one quarter had received drug treatment. Among those receiving treatment whose primary drug of use was known, heroin was most commonly used drug, followed by cannabis and cocaine.

On entering prison, inmates are first seen by medical personnel, who carry out thorough medical screening. They are then seen by the psychosocial team. Substance use problems are usually assessed by applying standardised tools. All prisoners are also tested for HIV on admission and screened for HBV infection. A vaccination programme for HBV was initiated in 2007.

Most prisoners undergoing drug treatment in prison receive OST. Individuals start OST at a hospital’s forensic unit and are sent back to the prison once they are stabilised, on the condition that they do not have any other psychiatric condition that requires monitoring.

Additionally, there are protocols for the transfer of inmates to selected drug rehabilitation units, if needed. Drug treatment agencies also offer counselling and support services to inmates inside the prison, including assistance with social reintegration. Activities are undertaken to prepare inmates for release, but it is not within the remit of the prison to provide for continuity of care.

According to 2014 data, fewer than half of prisoners had a history of drug use prior to imprisonment and one quarter had received drug treatment


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