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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2018

Arun Sondhi and Tina Garrett

Prisoner access to opiate-based analgesics and gabapentinoids is a concern to prisons through illicit trading. The purpose of this paper is to describe patient needs…

Abstract

Purpose

Prisoner access to opiate-based analgesics and gabapentinoids is a concern to prisons through illicit trading. The purpose of this paper is to describe patient needs following introduction of nine pilot chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) clinics for chronic pain in three prisons (two male and one female) in the South of England. The study evaluated the effectiveness of this model and assessed the wider practical implementation issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Clinical notes were reviewed for 63 consultations, anonymised and recorded for secondary analysis.

Findings

Alongside CNCP, high levels of substance misuse, physical and mental health histories were noted, especially for female patients. Amitriptyline, pregabalin, gabapentin were the main frontline analgesics prescribed prior to assessment. A total of 41 per cent of patients did not change their medication following the consultation; 25 per cent had their medication increased or reintroduced (greater for women prisoners); with one-third (33 per cent) of patients reducing the prescription of strong opioids and gabapentinoids. Significant differences were noted between male and female patients. Prisoners were amenable to changes in medication to facilitate access to work and other therapeutic interventions.

Social implications

The prescribing of analgesics has largely been couched in terms of disruption to the prison regime through illicit trading. This study highlights the need to place CNCP within wider contexts of substance misuse, physical and emotional health. There is an opportunity to develop a rehabilitative rather than palliative approach to pain management. Gender specific approaches for female patients should be considered.

Originality/value

Few studies of CNCP have been conducted within a prison environment.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Arun Charles Sondhi

The purpose of this paper is to understand prisoner perceptions on being trained and having received take-home naloxone (THN) kits once released from prison back into the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand prisoner perceptions on being trained and having received take-home naloxone (THN) kits once released from prison back into the community, in order to prevent an opiate-related overdose.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was run of all prisoners receiving THN training across ten prisons in one English region. In total, 142 prisoners were surveyed out of 206 (69 per cent) being trained in THN across the ten prisons. Five focus groups (n=26) with prisoners were conducted across four remand and one open prison that included discussions on THN within a range of topics. Discussions were recorded using short-hand and the data were subsequently thematically interpreted using visual mapping techniques.

Findings

The survey highlighted a high degree of exposure amongst prisoners to overdose either directly (54 per cent) or having witnessed another person’s overdose (73 per cent). For prisoners who had overdosed, only a minority (38 per cent) were taken to hospital by an ambulance. In total, 81 per cent of prisoners surveyed also expressed little or no knowledge about THN prior to training. Prisoners were resistant to THN as an intervention resulting from this lack of prior knowledge. Focus group interviews suggested that there was a confused and mixed message in providing a harm reduction initiative within the context of recovery-orientated treatment. Prisoners also exhibited name confusion with other drugs (naltrexone) and there was some degree of resistance to being trained based on perceived side-effects brought on by its administration. Prisoners were also acutely aware of official agency perceptions (e.g. police) if seen to be in possession of THN kits.

Practical implications

The distribution of THN within a custodial setting requires consideration of wider marketing approaches to address levels of confusion and misapprehension amongst prisoners.

Originality/value

The study is one of the few focused on THN based on a UK prison environment.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Ruth McGovern, Jennifer Birch, Gillian O'Neill, Hannah Kaner, Arun Sondhi and Kieran Lynch

The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence of alcohol use disorders within the different stages of the criminal justice system in the UK. Furthermore it reviewed…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence of alcohol use disorders within the different stages of the criminal justice system in the UK. Furthermore it reviewed the worldwide evidence of alcohol brief interventions in the various stages of the criminal justice system.

Design/methodology/approach

A rapid systematic review of publications was conducted from the year 2000 to 2014 regarding the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in the various stages of the criminal justice system. The second part of the work was a rapid review of effectiveness studies of interventions for alcohol brief interventions. Studies were included if they had a comparison group. Worldwide evidence was included that consisted of up to three hours of face-to-face brief intervention either in one session or numerous sessions.

Findings

This review found that 64-88 per cent of adults in the police custody setting; 95 per cent in the magistrate court setting; 53-69 per cent in the probation setting and 5,913-863 per cent in the prison system and 64 per cent of young people in the criminal justice system in the UK scored positive for an alcohol use disorder. There is very little evidence of effectiveness of brief interventions in the various stages of the criminal justice system mainly due to the lack of follow-up data.

Social implications

Brief alcohol interventions have a large and robust evidence base for reducing alcohol use in risky drinkers, particularly in primary care settings. However, there is little evidence of effect upon drinking levels in criminal justice settings. Whilst the approach shows promise with some effects being shown on alcohol-related harm as well as with young people in the USA, more robust research is needed to ascertain effectiveness of alcohol brief interventions in this setting.

Originality/value

This paper provides evidence of alcohol use disorders in the different stages of the criminal justice system in the UK using a validated tool as well as reviewing the worldwide evidence for short ( < three hours) alcohol brief intervention in this setting.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

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