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NorMA: Alcohol research

Psychologist and senior researcher, Hilde Pape (KRUS & FHI) has worked with issues related to alcohol use and alcohol problems among inmates using NorMA data.  

Hilde Pape has for many years researched drug use among young people. She has otherwise been concerned with related topics such as alcohol policy, drug prevention, alcohol and drug problems among prisoners and alcohol-related crime, as well as partner violence. In recent years, she has collaborated with us on the PriSUD project, which has had a major impact on the knowledge base related to alcohol use among prisoners. Read more about the research results below:  

Article focusing on alcohol problems among inmates:

Differences between subgroups, concomitant drug problems and treatment needs

The article focuses on the following questions: How widespread are alcohol problems among those imprisoned in Norway? Are the problems often combined with drug problems, and what proportion of the inmates have a drug-related treatment need?

The NorMA study includes  inmates in almost all Norwegian prisons. The study included the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT).

-  The responses of the inmates showed that just over half (55%) had alcohol problems of a certain severity when they were imprisoned, says KRUS researcher Hilde Pape.

The results also showed that barely one in five (18%) were probably addicted to alcohol, in need of specialized drug treatment.  The incidence was about the same among women and men. In younger age groups, and among former convicts and those who were convicted of violent crimes or driving under the influence of drugs, the proportion with alcohol problems was significantly increased.

A solid majority (68%) of inmates with alcohol problems also had drug problems. The more serious the alcohol problems, the higher the proportion with drug problems.  Prisoners with addictions related to both alcohol and drugs had particularly serious alcohol problems.  Of all the inmates in the study, three out of four (75%) had alcohol and / or drug problems, while almost half (45%) were probably drug addicts.

- There is obviously a great unmet need for treatment, says Pape. The substance abuse units in Norwegian prisons only have the capacity to receive three to four percent of the prison population.

-  It is also a paradox that alcohol problems among the inmates have received so little attention, both in the professional and research literature and in the penal care system.

Hilde Pape (KRUS / FHI), Ingeborg Rossow (FHI) and Anne Bukten contributed to this article, which was recently published in the journal European Addiction Research. Read the article here.

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