Service provision for detainees with problematic drug and alcohol use in police detention: a comparative study of selected countries in the European Union
Over the last two decades drug use has greatly increased. As a result increasing numbers find themselves in police detention: most of these detainees are vulnerable individuals and the recognition of their substance misuse problem is now perceived [in the UK] as important and is receiving local and...
European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI)
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|Summary:||Over the last two decades drug use has greatly increased. As a result increasing numbers find themselves in police detention: most of these detainees are vulnerable individuals and the recognition of their substance misuse problem is now perceived [in the UK] as important and is receiving local and national attention. Accurate assessment of substance-misuse-associated morbidities, including the degree and severity of dependence, and of the need for medical intervention, is essential, because both intoxication and withdrawal can put detainees at risk of medical, psychiatric and even legal complications (Royal College of Psychiatrists and Association of Forensic Physicians 2006,ii) Despite the expanding illicit drug industry and advances in law enforcement, which have led to an increase in the proportion of problematic drug and alcohol users coming in contact with the criminal justice systems throughout Europe, there is still little research about police detention (Van Horne & Farrell 1999), specifically in considering police forces’ response to the problem and the treatment of problematic drug and alcohol users in police detention (MacDonald 2004). Official statistics have shown an increase in the number of problematic drug and alcohol users across Europe and in Central and Eastern Europe. Recreational use and experimentation are becoming a central part of youth culture. Problematic drug and alcohol users represent a small minority of the whole population. However, this sort of use is responsible for the vast majority of associated harm, in personal, economic and social costs. This study explores legislation, policy and practice for problematic drug and alcohol users during police detention in eight countries in the EU.|
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