Treatment for substance use disorders in prison

This project investigates the implementation and integration of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment initiatives and methods in Norwegian prisons, and is a part of the research project PriSUD: Diagnosing and treating substance use in prison.

Image may contain: Clothing, Floor, Flooring, Wood, Metropolitan area.

Photo: Christian Wangberg/Studio Wangberg.

About the project

The global burden of disease associated with substance use disorders disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable groups in society, including people currently serving time in, or who have been released from, prison. Around half of all people in prison have an SUD when they first arrive, and the risk of overdose and relapse after release and re-entry into society are extremely high. This group is also more likely to experience health-related, social and financial disadvantage. The context of prison may make SUD treatment more “available” to individuals who previously had little and/or sporadic contact with relevant SUD services. This project aims to examine how SUD treatment in prison works in practice, analyse different mechanisms and processes associated with prison-based SUD initiatives, as well as the implications these initiatives have for release, recovery and life after imprisonment.

The study uses qualitative methods and is part of the research project PriSUD, and is a sibling project to PrisonHEALTH.


The aim of the project is to contribute to the development of new knowledge that can increase the quality of life, and somatic and mental health of individuals in prison before, during and after imprisonment.

Project period

The project will run for four years starting from 2020.


The project is externally financed by the Norwegian Research Council.

Image may contain: Person, Hair, Face, Clothing, Beauty.
Rose Elisabeth Boyle. Photo: Private.
Published May 19, 2022 4:30 PM - Last modified May 24, 2022 8:34 PM