To mark the INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST DRUG USE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING OF DRUGS, the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse spent the day conversing with officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Akwa Ibom State Command.
These officers were drawn from all custodial centres in Akwa Ibom and it was awesome learning about the implementation of non-custodial sentences. A vast majority of people who are incarcerated have a history of harmful alcohol, tobacco, and/or illicit drug use.
Some discontinue the use of these substances while in custody. However, others including some people who inject these substances continue to use them in prison, typically in avoidably high-risk circumstances.
Rapid relapse to risky substance use after release from prison is common and is associated with a range of health and social problems, and increased risk of both death and reincarceration.
Effective measures to reduce the incarceration of people who use drugs, and to minimize drug-related harms both in prison and after release from custody, are urgently required.