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Service Provision for Detainees With Problematic Drug and Alcohol Use in Police Detention: A Comparative Study of Selected Countries in the European Union, HEUNI Series No. 54

NCJ Number
Morag MacDonald; Susie Atherton; Daniele Berto; Antanas Bukauska; Chistine Graebsch; Emanuel Parasanau; Ivan Popov; Afrodita Qaramah; Heino Stover; Peter Sarosi; Kert Valdaru
Date Published
377 pages
This study examined legislation, policy, and practices regarding police detention for problematic drug and alcohol users in eight countries in the European Union.
Based on the findings of this study, the researchers concluded that police who arrest and place drug and alcohol abusers in detention should give greater attention to drug-related services/treatment, harm reduction, and health care. They argue that police policies and practices at this stage of the criminal justice processing of such detainees is an important link between the public-health initiatives in place for drug and alcohol abusers and, to some extent, the prison programs for such offenders. The police also have a role in reducing the spread of communicable diseases and harm reduction among intravenous drug users and for referring drug users to treatment interventions. In all the eight countries, certain groups among problematic drug and alcohol users were identified as presenting particular problems; these included those with mental-health problems and foreign nationals who were not eligible for state health care. Detailed recommendations are offered in the areas of drug policy in general, staff and training, access to drug and alcohol treatment, health care, harm reduction, and the promotion of interagency cooperation. Indepth interviews were conducted with key criminal justice professionals, health-care staff, government and nongovernmental representatives, and alcohol and drug abusers who had been in police detention in the eight countries. Data and information are provided for each of the eight countries involved in the study: Bulgaria, Estonia, England and Wales, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, and Romania. Approximately 270 references and 3 appendixes with supplementary information