Denmark Country Drug Report 2018

Drug use and responses in prison

In 2016, approximately 6 out of 10 prisoners reported using illicit drugs in the past, most frequently cannabis, followed by stimulants, opioids and misused benzodiazepines.

The national strategy for drug user treatment in prisons is primarily based on the ‘import model’, where external providers offer drug treatment in close collaboration with the Prison and Probation Service’s staff. Drug treatment is provided on the basis of the principles of equity and continuity of care. Prisons have introduced a treatment guarantee, which means that treatment should be provided to all inmates who request it within two weeks. Treatment is available through health and social programmes, which include motivation, pre-treatment assistance, intensive inpatient treatment in special treatment units, opioid substitution treatment (OST), post-treatment programmes and treatment of withdrawal symptoms. Special programmes for those who use cannabis, cocaine and other stimulants are available. OST and other long-term drug treatment programmes are coordinated with public treatment services to ensure continuation in the post-release period. Drug-free prison wings are also available.

To prevent drug-related infectious diseases, chlorine is available for disinfection, and vaccination against hepatitis A and B viruses is also provided.


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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.