Malta Country Drug Report 2018

Drug use and responses in prison

According to the last available data from 2014, around 43 % of prisoners in Malta had a history of drug use prior to imprisonment and one quarter had been in drug treatment.

On entering prison, inmates undergo medical screening, which is followed by a consultation with the psychosocial team. Substance use problems are usually assessed by applying standardised tools. On admission, all prisoners are also tested for human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B virus infections.

Most prisoners undergoing drug treatment in prison receive OST. The OST is initiated at a hospital’s forensic unit and the inmates are transferred back to the prison once they are stabilised. 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. Since 2007, a vaccination programme for HBV has been in place.

Activities are undertaken to prepare inmates for release, but it is not within the remit of the prison to provide continuity of care.

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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.