Public Health England (PHE) have released a free resource to assist prison staff about new psychoactive substances (NPS) in prisons.
The toolkit has been recently released after the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report ‘Changing patterns of substance misuse in adult prisons and service responses’, published in December 2015, which identified NPS as having “created significant additional harm and are now identified as the most serious threat to the safety and security of the prison system.”
The resource is intended to support custodial, healthcare and substance misuse staff by providing information about the extent of NPS use as PHE currently understand it and about the properties of the various categories of NPS, and by providing advice on how to manage the problem from a clinical, psychosocial and regime perspective.
The toolkit also discusses the various challenges that are associated for healthcare staff, such as the covert nature of use, unpredictable effects the various drugs have, the delay in seeking medical help, as well as multiple challenges for the wider prison regime.
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