Prevalence of drug use before and during imprisonment in seven European countries (2014-2018)

Linda Montanari, Luis Royuela, Sara Mazzilli, Liesbeth Vandam, Elena Alvarez, Noelia Llorens, Ludmila Carapinha, Katerina Grohmannova, Laura Isajeva, Lina Ignataviciute, Ines Kvaternik, Janusz Sierosławski, Artur Malczewski, Els Plettinckx, Rosario Sendino, Analia Torres, Ioanna Yasemi, Lara Tavoschi, Viktor Mravcik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substance use is a global phenomenon that is particularly affecting the prison population. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of drug use among people in prison before and during incarceration in seven European countries and to compare it with the prevalence in the general population. Individual data collection was carried out between 2014 and 2018 with a model European Questionnaire on Drug Use among people in prison. A total of 12,918 people living in prison filled in the survey. People in prison report higher level of drug use when compared with the general population and the use of drug inside prison exist, although at lower levels when compared with predetention. Prisons can represent a point of access to engage individuals who use drugs in interventions that address drug use and risk factors related to both drug use and imprisonment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • criminal justice system
  • drugs
  • Europe
  • prevalence
  • prisons
  • Substance use
  • survey
  • substance use

Field of Science*

  • 5.1 Psychology

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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