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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Prevalence of psychoactive substances use in a Lithuanian women‘s prison revisited after 5 years

Laura Narkauskaite, Algirdas Juozulynas, Zygmunt Mackiewicz, Algirdas Venalis, Janina Utkuviene

Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(11): PH91-96

ID: 881228

Background:    This paper re-examines the prevalence of psychoactive substances (tobacco, alcohol, narcotic drugs) use among inmates in a Lithuanian women’s prison. The main goal of this study was to determinate the changes in the use of the psychoactive substances in a women’s prison in Lithuania.
    Material/Methods:    We accomplished the retesting of the first ever investigation of this kind, carried out in 2004, using the same questionnaire, in the only women’s prison in Lithuania. In June 2009, 71 (27.8%) women of 255 inmates of the prison were given questionnaires with information about the aim of the study, stating that the study was voluntary and anonymous, and obtaining permission for release of information. The results were compared with the previous investigation. A statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 17.0.
    Results:    Tobacco smokers comprised 85.3% of respondents.; the average age at which respondents started to smoke was 14±7.3 years; 57.7% of respondents had tried narcotic drugs at least once; 22.5% of respondents used drugs (in 2004 we had found no drug use in this women’s prison); 18.3% of respondents indicated that they narcotic drugs were tried for the first time away, 4.2% – in a custodial establishment.
    Conclusions:    Psychoactive substances are often used due to their psychological effect. inmates constitute a high-risk group of drug users and distributors of narcotic drugs. Intravenous narcotics stimulating dangerous behavior prevail in Lithuanian prisons. Women in prison are especially prone to smoking.

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