Poland Country Drug Report 2018

Drug use and responses in prison

Available data on drug use among prisoners from the 2007 prison survey show that around half of prisoners in Poland had used drugs before imprisonment, mainly cannabis, amphetamines and, to lesser extent, opioids. Use of these substances is also the most frequent reason for entering drug treatment in Polish prisons. Recent evidence suggests that new psychoactive substances use in prison settings is emerging in Poland.

The National Programme for Counteracting Drug Addiction 2011-16 identifies the objective of increasing the number and variety of specialist drug treatment programmes in prisons, youth detention centres and hostels for minors, including opioid substitution treatment (OST) and harm reduction for drug-dependent individuals.

In prisons, drug treatment is conducted in therapeutic wards based on programmes approved by the General Director of the Prison Service. The main treatment modality consists of six-month residential therapeutic programmes, with interventions ranging from psychotherapy to rehabilitation; however, other programs, such as OST and short-term interventions, are available.

Harm reduction interventions include activities such as educational programmes for drug users, individual consultations, motivation for behavioural change, safe injection training, support groups and group sessions for inmates who had not been admitted to prison treatment wards, and they are implemented by non-governmental organisations. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive inmates in need of treatment are provided with antiretroviral treatment.

Poland main page

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.