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A large proportion of people in prison have substance use disorders (SUDs) when they enter prison, and after release, the risk of overdose death and relapse into substance use is high. Because of this, it is important to screen for SUDs upon arrival in prison and to offer adequate treatment for substance abuse disorders during imprisonment.

PriSUD is a large research project that has been developed at the Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF) at the University of Oslo (UiO). Over time, the project has increased in scope and includes both studies related to the Norwegian and the Nordic prison population. PriSUD will be the first research project to investigate the epidemiology and the lived experiences of people with SUD in the Nordic prison population.

The project has three parts: a large register study; a qualitative study and a study examining the possibility of using risk calculation tools. The project is funded by Health South-East and the Research Council of Norway.

In addition, PriSUD cooperates with PRISONHEALTH, a research project run by Thomas Ugelvik at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at UiO.


Read all publications from the PriSUD project here .


The PriSUD project mainly uses two data sources: two cohorts that will be used to illuminate different aspects of the project. These cohorts have been named The Norwegian Prison Release Study (nPRIS) and The Norwegian Offender Mental Health and Addiction Study (NorMA).


All data used in the PriSUD project have been de-identified. In addition, all results will be anonymized, i.e., no persons will be able to be identified based on material published from the study. The data in the study are securely stored within the Services for Sensitive Data (TSD).

The Norwegian Offender Mental Health and Addiction Study (NorMA)

The NorMA cohort is based on questionnaire data collected among 1,499 inmates in Norwegian prisons. Data were collected in a total of 57 prison units in the period 2013-2014, and included low- and high-security prisons. 

The Norwegian Prison Release Study (nPRIS)

nPRIS is a cohort based on administrative data from all Norwegian prisons. The cohort has been updated several times, and it currently contains information on all sentences from January 1,  2000 to December 31, 2019.

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