Injection Drug Use in Prisons

"Infectious disease management can be a challenge in correctional settings due to the high rates of BBIs, and risky behaviours such as injection drug use (IDU), tattooing and piercing among people entering the correctional system (PHAC, 2008b). While jurisdictions prohibit IDU, tattooing and piercing within their facilities some inmates continue to engage in these activities with escalated risk of infection due to the need to share equipment. For example, among Canadian studies, the reported level of IDU ranges from 5% to 28% in federal institutions and 1% to 8% in provincial correctional centres (Alary, Godin & Lambert, 2005; Calzavara & Burchell, 1999; Calzavara et al., 2003; Calzavara, Myers, Millson, Schlossbert, & Burchell, 1997; Dufour et al., 1996; Ford, 1999; Ford et al., 2000; Martin, Gold & Murphy, 2005; PASAN, 2003; Poulin et al., 2007; Price Waterhouse, 1996; Rehman, 2004; Small et al., 2005). These rates are higher when capturing ever injecting in prison (8% to 28%) compared to shorter periods of time such as the past 12 months (1% to 11%)."


Thompson, Jennie, Zakaria, Dianne, and Jarvis, Ashley, "Use of bleach and the methadone maintenance treatment program as harm reduction measures in Canadian Penitentiaries 2010," Correctional Service of Canada, Research Report R-210, August 2010.