Drug use in prison remains a priority for policy-makers in Romania and is reflected in the current National Anti-Drug Strategy and the National Programme for Prevention and Medical, Psychological and Social Care for Drug Users. The prison system in Romania is coordinated by the Directorate of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice.
No survey on drug use among prisoners has been conducted since 2006. Available data on drug use refer to assessments at prison entry, which are not conducted systematically, and the available information on drug use is based on self-reporting. In 2015, approximately 1 % of prison entrants declared that they were former drug users, which is six times lower than the figure reported in 2014. In 2015, the number of self-declared drug users was the lowest it had been since 2008, which is partly attributed to the application of the new Criminal Code.
Information on patterns of drug use was reported in a study of infectious diseases in people who had been in prison at some point in their life. According to the study, heroin, methadone (misused) and NPS are the substances most commonly used in prison; many of those who had been in prison at some point in their life had injected drugs while in detention.
The provisions of the National Health Programme for 2015 and 2016 also aimed to limit the spread of infectious diseases associated with drug use in Romanian prisons. Therefore, the National Programme of Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases provides a range of activities that fall under the responsibility of the existing medical units in prisons as providers of primary healthcare services. Measures include the distribution of information materials, reporting of communicable disease cases identified in the detention unit, and the provision of vaccination, testing and treatment.
Interventions for reducing drug demand in Romanian prisons have three lines of action: prevention, treatment and social reintegration. Services for drug users include psychosocial support, education and counselling, therapeutic communities and OST. OST can be initiated in prison for prisoners with a history of drug use. Programmes for post-release relapse prevention are available for those receiving OST. The National Strategy for the Social Reintegration of Prisoners 2014-18 includes measures to ensure continuity of care after prisoners’ release.
In 2015, approximately 1 % of prison entrants declared that they were former drug users