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Drug use and mental health problems among prison inmates--results from a nation-wide prison population study

Drug use and mental health problems among prison inmates--results from a nation-wide prison population study

Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 63(3): 237-245

Prisons all over the western world are known to be inhabited by a biased sample of the population. More information is needed on how problems in diverse areas interact. The present study investigated how general welfare deficiencies, drug use and mental health problems were related in a representative prison population. Data stem from a level-of-living survey among a nationwide representative sample of Norwegian prison inmates. The sample was drawn randomly from the official register of prison inmates. Data were collected through structured personal interviews (computer assisted). Analyses presented in this paper are based on the male part of the sample (n=225). Only 24% of male prisoners were affected by neither drug use problems nor mental health problems. Investigating the relationship between variables indicated an increasing accumulation of childhood stressors and general welfare deficiencies with increasing drug use and mental health problems. As health problems are intertwined with more general social problems, health promotion among prison inmates is clearly a multidisciplinary task, requiring close collaboration between different service providers and systems of care.

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Accession: 052721942

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19034714

DOI: 10.1080/08039480802571044

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