by Raja Nandhini on  April 2, 2012 at 4:27 PM Health Watch
Life of Prisoners Released at Stake Due to Drug Overdose
The prison inmates, once released after serving their period in prison, are far from breathing a sigh of relief. The social stigma associated with the prisons puts them under various hardships, which question their very survival in the society.

The higher incidence of drug abuse and related deaths among the former prison inmates, within months of their release, had prompted a team of researchers in the United States to look into the factors influencing the relapse to drugs and subsequent overdose among the former inmates.

The team interviewed 29 former prisoners, released within the past two months, about their drug usage. They were also encouraged to share their experience and ideas for drug abstinence. Over half the participants had been acquainted with someone who overdosed and 3 of them had personally overdosed.

It was found that being neglected by the society, the participants had struggled to find a job and a place to live in. And this had made their lives highly stressful.

Due to their deteriorated financial status, some of the former prisoners who had been suffering from health ailments had not been able to access medical facilities.

It was noted that due to the inaccessibility to basic needs, prisoners most often resort to drugs, soon after their release, to give vent to their stress and in some cases go to the extreme level of ending their lives by getting overdosed.

Many participants living in shelters had attributed the relapse to drugs, to the ease of drug availability in their surroundings and the company of people who encourage them in substance abuse.

The participants had opined that the well-guided rehabilitation programs, getting involved in religious and spiritual proceedings, and bonding with their families and other community-based organizations were highly beneficial in abstaining from drugs.

Analyzing the factors and the suggestions of the participants, the experts concluded that a well-designed intervention program, helping the released prisoners to cope up with the stress and prevent them from resorting to drugs, is very much essential immediately after their release from the prison.

Reference : Return to drug use and overdose after release from prison: a qualitative study of risk and protective factors; Ingrid A Binswanger et al; BMC Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.

Source: Medindia

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