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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Pressure on treatment programs as drug use rises among Victorian prisoners

Date posted: 25 October 2013

Almost one in 10 Victorian prisoners is a known drug user yet the Department of Justice (DOJ) has no way of measuring the outcomes of drug treatment programs, the Auditor-General has found.

Drug programs are being pushed to the limit and rates of infectious diseases are increasing as the prison population rises, according to the report into the prevention and management of drug use in prisons.

Auditor-General, John Doyle, found 'weaknesses in performance reporting and evaluation means that DOJ cannot determine the overall effectiveness and efficiency of its initiatives to manage drug use in prisons'.

The report found prescription drug buprenorphine was the most commonly detected drug in 2012-13. Buprenorphine is prescribed to treat heroin addiction and is limited to a maximum of six prisoners in each jail with a treatment program. The drug was found in 57.7% of all positive urine samples in the past year.

Department Secretary, Greg Wilson, said a new alcohol and drug strategy was due to be implemented this year and an evaluation completed by December 2015.

Source: Herald Sun


Michelle Ainsworth
Herald Sun


Last updated: 22 October 2013
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