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Drug Addiction Intervention Programmes Using Agonists and Antagonists Opiates in Catalonian Prisons (From Advances in Psychology and Law, P 383-388, 1997, Santiago Redondo and Vicente Garrido, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-175532)

NCJ Number
A Marco
Date Published
6 pages
This paper provides an overview of inmate drug treatment programs that use antagonist opiates and agonist opiates to treat heroin addicts in Catalan (Spain) prisons.
Drug consumption by intravenous means and the commonly associated pathologies with this consumption (hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV infection) constitute the main health problem in Catalan prisons. Historically, various antagonist opiates have been used in the treatment of drug dependents, although naltrexone is the only antagonist currently in clinical use. The use of naltrexone in prisons is rare in Spain, even though it is the drug that adapts best to the conditions of prison. Naltrexone treatment, applied in a controlled way and following evaluation parameters, is currently conducted in the Quatre Camins Prison Department of Specialized Attention, a therapeutic center within the prison. The basic objective is to encourage abstinence, especially in risk situations. In treatment programs with agonist opiates, methadone is most often used. The first methadone maintenance program was begun in a Catalan prison in 1992 on an experimental basis. Evaluation of the program found a drop in opiate consumption among clients, with the greatest decrease among those with a methadone dose higher than 50 mg and those in treatment for over 6 months. The results obtained in the evaluation have confirmed that this treatment method should be part of the drug treatment plan of the Justice Department. Currently, three prisons are prescribing and issuing methadone; the goal is to have all prisons use methadone maintenance by the end of 1995. 35 references