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Original Articles

Substance use disorders and their correlates among inmates in a Sri Lankan prison

Authors:

Aruni Hapangama ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya , LK
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D.G.B.M S Dasanyake,

North Colombo Teaching Hospital, LK
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K A L A Kuruppuarachchi,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya , LK
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A Pathmeswaran,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya , LK
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H J de Silva

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya , LK
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Abstract

Introduction Substance abuse and dependence are common among prison populations. However, there is few data regarding this problem in Sri Lankan. Objective: To determine the prevalence of substance use disorders among inmates in a Sri Lankan prison Method: A semi- structured interviewer administered questionnaire and ICD 10 clinical diagnostic criteria were applied to 410 randomly selected male and female prisoners in minimum/medium security settings in the largest prison in Sri Lanka. Results: 75.6% (95% CI 71.2 – 79.5) of prisoners had lifetime substance use disorder while 24.4% (95% CI 20.2– 28.6) met criteria for current substance use disorder. 56.8% and 67 % of participants met criteria for lifetime alcohol and tobacco use disorders, respectively, while and 42 %and 25.6% had lifetime cannabis and opioid dependence, respectively. Factors significantly associated with lifetime substance use disorder were male gender, residence in an urban area, younger age and being unemployed or having only temporary employment. 23% of participants who met criteria for dependence were intravenous substance users. Conclusions: Services should be improved in the prison health system to minimize harm from substance use disorders.
How to Cite: Hapangama, A., Dasanyake, D.G.B.M.S., Kuruppuarachchi, K.A.L.A., Pathmeswaran, A. and de Silva, H.J., 2021. Substance use disorders and their correlates among inmates in a Sri Lankan prison. Journal of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, 8(2), pp.E157 1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jpgim.8334
Published on 29 Nov 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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