NPS use in European prisons – assessing prevalence and providing a comprehensive strategy for
effective prevention and intervention

Project Details

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Project end:
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Funding Opportunities

Europäische Kommission – Justice Programme (2014-2020) (EU-Funding)

Principal Investigator(s)


The use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in European prisons has become a serious health and social problem with numerous life-threatening poisonings in the last years. This project is the first to assess the prevalence of NPS use in three European countries known to facethis problem (Germany, Poland, and Hungary) by an interdisciplinary approach using comprehensive urine analyses and qualitative socialresearch. Analytical methods will be kept up-to-date by monitoring the NPS market and identifying new compounds in a timely manner. On thebasis of the type of drugs detected and the results of qualitative structured interviews conducted with employees in the penal system, a strategyincluding modular trainings for penal system professionals as well as prisoners will be developed to reduce NPS use and related harms inEuropean prisons. Targeted intervention measures will be applied in prisons in Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Their effectiveness will beassessed on the basis of detecting changes in NPS use prevalence as indicated by repeated urine analyses and the results of qualitativestructured interviews conducted after the intervention. The concept and the measures thereby identified as most effective will be disseminatedamong the member states in a European conference addressing key stake holders and representatives of organisations responsible for drugprevention in prisons. Main beneficiaries are prisoners (harm prevention, both acute and structural), prison officers (personal safety) and thejudicial system (reduction of medical costs, law enforcement).

Last updated on 2020-18-09 at 15:03