Cyprus Country Drug Report 2018

Drug use and responses in prison

In Cyprus, there is one prison and several police stations where arrestees can be kept in short-term detention. In general, the average number of inmates is below 1 000.

No studies have been conducted on drug use prevalence in the prison. The history of drug use and related problems of each prisoner are assessed on admission to the prison, at which time inmates are also informed about all available prison services.

Medical care of prisoners is mentioned in the Prison Regulations and the National Strategy on Illicit Substances Dependence and the Harmful Use of Alcohol for 2013-20 provides the framework for the implementation of drug treatment in the criminal justice system.

Medical services are provided by the Ministry of Health, which appoints relevant healthcare staff. In cases where specific health services cannot be provided inside the prison, inmates are referred to services outside the prison. A drug treatment programme, offering individual counselling to prisoners, was launched at the end of 2015. Pharmacologically assisted treatment is also available, including opioid substitution treatment, which is available to those inmates who received it before imprisonment and for those who continue use of opioids inside the prison.

Inmates are also offered free testing and treatment for infection with hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus, as well as for tuberculosis and syphilis. In recent years, a mechanism has developed through which inmates are referred to a therapeutic community while still serving their sentence (provided that they have served at least two thirds of the sentence) and a memorandum of cooperation between all involved parties has been signed to address the needs of released inmates.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.