Prison improves health of female drug users

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 22 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:386
  1. Anne Griffin
  1. BMJ

    The health of female prisoners who are drug users tends to improve during their time in prison, a study from Oxford University funded by the King's Fund has found.

    Three quarters of the 505 women studied by researchers from Oxford's public health department had used illegal drugs in the six months before imprisonment. After one and three months' imprisonment, drug users' health had improved, but it remained worse than in the general population.

    “The most striking finding was just how poor the women's health was on arrival,” said Emma Plugge, lead author of the study and senior research scientist. “In the case of drug users, [their health was] significantly worse than that of women in ¼ the general population with the poorest health.

    “Women described the way in which acquiring drugs and maintaining their addiction had taken precedence in …

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