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Table DUP-3. Prevalence of drug use within prison among prisoners, 2000–11

Part (ii) Methodological Notes

CountryYearSource/ reference (1)Definition and methodological comments (2)Drug used (and if any: restriction on base population) %
Belgium20101Persons reporting lifetime drug use during the current imprisonment Comment: cross-sectional national survey in all the 32 Belgian prisons in a representative sample of 10% of prisoners in each prison, including remanded, sentenced and mentally disordered prisoners, both males and females (n= 1251)any illicit drug33
cannabis31
cocaine9
heroin13
amphetamines8
20101Persons reporting last year drug use during the current imprisonment Comment: cross-sectional national survey in all the 32 Belgian prisons in a representative sample of 10% of prisoners in each prison, including remanded, sentenced and mentally disordered prisoners, both males and females (n= 1251)any illicit drug15
20101Persons reporting last month drug use during the current imprisonment Comment: cross-sectional national survey in all the 32 Belgian prisons in a representative sample of 10% of prisoners in each prison, including remanded, sentenced and mentally disordered prisoners, both males and females (n= 1251)any illicit drug12
20101Persons reporting regular drug use (from multiple times a month to once and multiple times a week and daily use) during the current imprisonment Comment: cross-sectional national survey in all the 32 Belgian prisons in a representative sample of 10% of prisoners in each prison, including remanded, sentenced and mentally disordered prisoners, both males and females (n= 1251)any illicit drug12
20082Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: cross-sectional national survey in all the 32 Belgian prisons in a representative sample of 10% of prisoners in each prison, including remanded, sentenced and mentally disordered prisoners, both males and females (n= 1078)any illicit drug35
cannabis32
cocaine9
heroin12
amphetamines5
ecstasy4
20063Persons reporting having used illicit drugs (or an unprescribed psychotropic drug) during the current detention. Comment: national survey in all the 32 Belgian prisons in a representative sample of 10% of adult prisoners, including remanded, sentenced and mentally disordered prisoners, both males and females (n= 902).any illicit drug29
cannabis27
cocaine, crack9
heroin12
amphetamines7
ecstasy5
LSD, magic mushrooms1
20034Persons reporting having used illicit drugs during the last incarceration. Comment: survey in a random sample of 10 prisons (over a total of 38) among on remand, convicted and social defence (psychiatric cases) prisoners (n= 886).any illicit drug 33
Bulgaria20084Persons reporting at admission to the prison drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: national survey in 17 remand prisons among all convicted, defendant adults and detained persons in prison and remand arrest during the year (n= 9983).Any illicit drug4
cannabis0.7
cocaine0.4
heroin1
amphetamines1
ecstasy0.05
20084Persons reporting at admission to the prison drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: national survey in 17 remand prisons among all convicted, defendant adults and detained persons in prison and remand arrest during the year (n= 9983).Any illicit drug0.6
cannabis0
cocaine0
heroin0.05
amphetamines0
ecstasy0.05
20066Persons registered (in the judicial and medical files) as lifetime drug users in prison (self-report). Comment: national survey in 17 prisons among prisoners (n= 2562) any illicit drug1
cannabis0.5
cocaine0
heroin0.6
amphetamines0
ecstasy0
20066Persons registered (in the judicial and medical files) as last year drug users in prison (self-report). Comment: national survey in 17 prisons among prisoners (n= 2562) any illicit drug1
cannabis0.2
cocaine0
heroin0.4
amphetamines0.1
ecstasy0
20066Persons registered (in the judicial and medical files) as last month drug users in prison (self-report). Comment: national survey in 17 prisons among prisoners (n= 2562) any illicit drug0.1
cannabis0.04
cocaine0
heroin0.04
amphetamines0
ecstasy0
Czech Republic20101Persons reporting lifetime drug use during any imprisonment "drug use in prison" Comment: First cross-sectional national survey in 35 out of 36 Czech prisons among a random sample of prison inmates (out of 19570 prisoners were randomly selected 2000 respondents of whom 1668 did really answer). Field has been conducted during 13 days in all Czech prisons. (N=1668) (Planned every two years)any illicit drug22
cannabis15
cocaine2
heroin4
amphetamines13
ecstasy2
Greece20001Persons reporting lifetime drug use while in prison. Comment: survey in 1 prison amongst on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 136).any illicit drug46
Italy 20094Persons reporting regular drug use while in prison (DUs) (based on self-report and/or clinical assessment) Comment:nationwide routine data from drug-screening by prison authorities at prison admission among all prisoners (adult males and females) in prison at 30/06/2009 (n= 63630) any illicit drug25
Latvia20101Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: Repeated cross-sectional national survey in 11 (out of 15) prisons, convicted persons (n= 1965)any illicit drug 32
cannabis24
cocaine3
heroin10
amphetamines19
ecstasy8
20101Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: Repeated cross-sectional national survey in 11 (out of 15) prisons, convicted persons (n= 1965)any illicit drug 18
cannabis12
cocaine1
heroin6
amphetamines10
ecstasy3
20101Persons reporting drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: Repeated cross-sectional national survey in 11 (out of 15) prisons, convicted persons (n= 1965)any illicit drug 9
cannabis6
cocaine0.6
heroin2
amphetamines3
ecstasy1
20032Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: national survey in 11 (out of 15) prisons with at least 100 convicted persons (n= 2867).cannabis28
cocaine4
heroin12
amphetamines12
ecstasy7
20032Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: national survey in 11 (out of 15) prisons with at least 100 convicted persons (n= 2867).cannabis15
cocaine2
heroin5
amphetamines8
ecstasy4
20032Persons reporting drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: national survey in 11 (out of 15) prisons with at least 100 convicted persons (n= 2867).cannabis6
cocaine1
heroin2
amphetamines2
ecstasy1
Lithuania20111Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: Local survey in one penitentiary (Alytus) among a random sample of convicted men (n=329)any illicit drug30
20033Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: national survey in all 14 prisons among on remand and convicted prisoners at 31.12.2003 (n= 8063).any illicit drug13
cannabis0.1
heroin9.5
cocaine0.03
stimulants1
several drugs3
Luxembourg20051Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: nationwide cross-sectional survey in 2 state prisons amongst the total population of prisoners (n= 246).any illicit drug56
Hungary20082Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: national cross-sectional survey in 22 prisons amongst a proportional random sample of adult both males and females convicted prisoners of Hungarian citizenship (n= 503).any illicit drug14
cannabis12
cocaine1
heroin0.5
amphetamines4
ecstasy5
20082Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: national cross-sectional survey in 22 prisons amongst a proportional random sample of adult both males and females convicted prisoners of Hungarian citizenship (n= 503).any illicit drug8
cannabis6
cocaine1
heroin0.4
amphetamines2
ecstasy2
20082Persons reporting drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: national cross-sectional survey in 22 prisons amongst a proportional random sample of adult both males and females convicted prisoners of Hungarian citizenship (n= 503).any illicit drug3
cannabis3
cocaine0.2
heroin0.2
amphetamines1
ecstasy0.4
20043Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: national survey in 11 prisons amongst a proportional random sample of adult male convicted prisoners of Hungarian citizenship (n= 609).any illicit drug (adult males)8
cannabis (adult males)6
cocaine (adult males)1
heroin (adult males)1
amphetamines (adult males)1
ecstasy (adult males)3
20043Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: national survey in 11 prisons amongst a proportional random sample of adult male convicted prisoners of Hungarian citizenship (n= 609).any illicit drug (adult males)5
cannabis (adult males)3
cocaine (adult males)0.4
heroin (adult males)0.2
amphetamines (adult males)0.4
ecstasy (adult males)1
20043Persons reporting drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: national survey in 11 prisons amongst a proportional random sample of adult male convicted prisoners of Hungarian citizenship (n= 609). any illicit drug (adult males)3
cannabis (adult males)1
cocaine (adult males)0.2
heroin (adult males)0
amphetamines (adult males)0
ecstasy (adult males)0.3
Poland20071Adult men reporting lifetime drug use within prison. Comment: nationwide survey (41 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1240)any illicit drug (adult males)20
cannabis (adult males)18
cocaine (adult males)3
heroin (adult males)2
amphetamines (adult males)15
ecstasy (adult males)7
20012Adult men reporting lifetime drug use within prison. Comment: nationwide survey (38 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1189).any illicit drug (adult males)23
cannabis (adult males)21
cocaine (adult males)5
heroin (adult males)3
amphetamines (adult males)15
ecstasy (adult males)5
Portugal20071Persons reporting lifetime drug use within prison. Comment: nationwide survey (44 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1986)any illicit drug36
cannabis30
cocaine10
heroin14
amphetamines2
ecstasy3
20071Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: nationwide survey (44 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1986)any illicit drug34
cannabis29
cocaine8
heroin12
amphetamines2
ecstasy2
20071Persons reporting drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: nationwide survey (44 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1986)any illicit drug27
cannabis23
cocaine4
heroin7
amphetamines1
ecstasy1
20071Persons reporting regular (everyday) drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: nationwide survey (44 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1986)any illicit drug12
cannabis7
cocaine1
heroin3
amphetamines0.3
ecstasy0.3
20012Persons reporting drug use within the last year in prison. Comment: nationwide survey (47 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 2057)any illicit drug52
cannabis44
cocaine26
heroin33
amphetamines10
ecstasy10
20012Persons reporting drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: nationwide survey (47 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 2057).any illicit drug30
cannabis24
cocaine7
heroin16
amphetamines2
ecstasy1
20012Persons reporting regular (everyday) drug use within the last month in prison. Comment: nationwide survey (47 prisons) in a random sample of on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 2057).any illicit drug10
cannabis6
cocaine2
heroin5
Romania20111Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: national survey in 27 prisons among prisoners both judicial status (on-remand, convicted), both gender (men, women) and age: minor (≤17 years), young offenders (18-21 years) and adults (22-64 years). Type of institutions covered: maximum security/close/remand, semi-open and open, minors and youths, reform centre and hospitals. Sampling method probabilistic, stratified and multistage. Second study, first one was conducted in 2006. (n=2064)any illicit drug5
cannabis1
cocaine0.4
heroin2
ecstasy1
20111Persons reporting last year drug use in prison Comment: national survey in 27 prisons among prisoners both judicial status (on-remand, convicted), both gender (men, women) and age: minor (≤17 years), young offenders (18-21 years) and adults (22-64 years). Type of institutions covered: maximum security/close/remand, semi-open and open, minors and youths, reform centre and hospitals. Sampling method probabilistic, stratified and multistage. Second study, first one was conducted in 2006. (n=2064)any illicit drug2
cannabis0.5
cocaine0.1
heroin1
ecstasy1
20111Persons reporting last month drug use in prison Comment: national survey in 27 prisons among prisoners both judicial status (on-remand, convicted), both gender (men, women) and age: minor (≤17 years), young offenders (18-21 years) and adults (22-64 years). Type of institutions covered: maximum security/close/remand, semi-open and open, minors and youths, reform centre and hospitals. Sampling method probabilistic, stratified and multistage. Second study, first one was conducted in 2006. (n=2064)any illicit drug0.7
cannabis0.1
cocaine0.1
heroin0.4
20062Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison. Comment: survey in 27 prisons among prisoners (n=3218)any illicit drug2
cannabis0.6
cocaine0.2
heroin1
amphetamines0.1
ecstasy0.2
LSD0.1
Spain20061Persons reporting last month drug use in prison Comment: nationwide survey in 66 prisons in a random sample of prisoners (n= 4934) (women overrepresented).cannabis28
cocaine3
crack3
heroin5
heroin + cocaine in the same dose2
amphetamines0.3
ecstasy0.3
Finland20012Persons reporting illicit drug use while in prison. Comment: national survey among a sample of voluntary HIV tested convicted prisoners (n= 825).16.5
United Kingdom (England)20012Women reporting drug use within prison. Comment: national survey of female prisoners on remand and convicted in 10 prisons (n= 301) (from Borrill et al., 2003b)any illicit drug (females)45
cannabis (females)21
cocaine (females)2
crack (females)9
heroin (females)27
amphetamines (females)1
ecstasy (females)1
LSD (females)1
tranquilizers (females)17
United Kingdom (England and Wales)2001-024Persons reporting drug use in the current prison. Comment: survey in 31 prisons in a representative sample of male and female remanded and sentenced prisoners (n= 2266).any illicit drug39
cannabis32
cocaine1
crack5
heroin21
amphetamine1
ecstasy3
LSD1
2001-024Persons reporting drug use during the past month in the current prison. Comment: survey in 31 prisons in a representative sample of male and female remanded and sentenced prisoners (n= 2266).any illicit drug25
cannabis19
cocaine1
crack2
heroin13
amphetamine0
ecstasy1
LSD0
2001-024Persons reporting drug use during the past week in the current prison. Comment: survey in 31 prisons in a representative sample of male and female remanded and sentenced prisoners (n= 2266).any illicit drug16
cannabis9
cocaine0
crack0
heroin10
amphetamine0
ecstasy0
LSD0
United Kingdom (Scotland)201110Persons reporting drug use within the last month during the current imprisonment: Have you used illegal drugs in the last month while in this prison?. Comment: nationwide cross-sectional survey in all Scottish prisons amongst the total population of prisoners ( remand and convicted, young offenders and adults, age range 16-79 years) (n= 4198)any illicit drug 21
cannabis13
cocaine3
heroin15
amphetamines9
ecstasy2
200911Persons reporting drug use within the last month during the current imprisonment: Have you used illegal drugs in the last month while in this prison?. Comment: nationwide cross-sectional survey in all Scottish prisons amongst the total population of prisoners ( remand and convicted, young offenders and adults, age range 16-79 years) (n= 4431)any illicit drug 22
cannabis13
cocaine4
heroin15
amphetamines2
ecstasy2
200911Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison: Have you ever used illegal drugs in prison? Comment: nationwide cross-sectional survey in all Scottish prisons amongst the total population of prisoners ( remand and convicted, young offenders and adults, age range 16-79 years) (n= 4431)any illicit drug 45
200812Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n=4318).any illicit drug 26
cannabis17
cocaine5
heroin18
amphetamines2
ecstasy3
200812Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n=4318).any illicit drug 48
200713Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4692).any illicit drug 30
cannabis19
cocaine6
heroin21
amphetamines2
ecstasy3
200713Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4692).any illicit drug51
200614Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4778).any illicit drug 29
cannabis20
cocaine6
heroin21
amphetamines2
ecstasy3
200614Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4778).any illicit drug50
200515Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4831).any illicit drug 34
cannabis77
cocaine14
heroin/opiates69
amphetamines4
ecstasy9
200515Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4831).any illicit drug50
200416Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4793).any illicit drug 50
cannabis78
cocaine14
heroin63
amphetamines6
ecstasy12
200416Persons reporting lifetime drug use in prison Comment: nationwide survey among all prisoners (n= 4793).any illicit drug55
200317Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: national survey in 16 prisons among all prisoners available at the time of the survey (n= 4741).any illicit drug32
cannabis24
cocaine/crack6
heroin/methadone/other opiates21
amphetamines5
Norway20022Persons reporting drug use during the current imprisonment. Comment: national survey in all 52 prisons among on remand and convicted prisoners (n= 1074).any illicit drug 26-38
 

Notes:

Caution should be applied when considering that a survey is said to be 'national' as this refers to its intended geographical coverage, but does not mean it is necessarily representative of the national situation, which would depend on any sampling procedures adopted. Note that the size of the prison population surveyed is not available for most of the studies displayed in this table, and sample sizes reflect different proportions of the population in different countries.

Sources:

For access to sources and bibliographic references, refer to Table DUP-0.

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Page last updated: Friday, 26 April 2013