PriSUD-Nordic: Intervening substance use disorders in the prison population - A public health opportunity


About 50% of the prison population have substance use disorders (SUD) when they enter prison and after release, the risk of overdose death and relapse to drug use is high. Thus, the detection of SUDs, accompanied by adequate treatment will significantly improve the overall health status of the communities from which the prisoners come and to which they return. 

PriSUD-Nordic is the first longitudinal study to investigate the epidemiology of people with SUD in three Nordic countries. The overall objective of PriSUD-Nordic is to develop new knowledge contributing to better mental and physical health, improved quality of life and better life expectancies among people with SUD in prison. The project looks at three different periods relating to incarceration: the time prior to imprisonment, the time during imprisonment and post-release.

PriSUD-Nordic will take advantage of the Nordic potential for research, building on strong healthcare registers, publicly owned universities and university hospitals, and a high appreciation for medical research among the public and politicians. To reach the ambitious aims of the PriSUD-Nordic study, we have put together a multidisciplinary research group who will analyse a wide range of existing, high quality Nordic registry data available for research. In addition, a qualitative study, based on ethnographic fieldwork and semi-structured interviews, will explore how SUD treatment is implemented and integrated into the prison context. An important goal of the project is to communicate all research results to a wide range of target groups, such as current and former inmates, prison staff, user organizations, healthcare service providers, policy makers and the general public.