Paramedics warn of serious drug problems in Irish prisons

Paramedics have warned of a serious problem with synthetic heroin and other prescription drugs in Irish prisons.

They have been called to Dublin jails in recent weeks and have uncovered an epidemic of prescription medication.

A source said in one overdose a prisoner was found to have a cocktail of cannabis, synthetic heroin, cocaine, paracetamol and benzos.

They explained: “There have been a number of incidents and prison officers have told medics there is a problem with synthetic heroin.

Fentanyl use is growing at the moment – the drug, which is an opioid pain reliever, is often mixed with cocaine but there is a high risk of overdosing as fentanyl shuts down the body.

“It is a huge challenge for prison officers to combat but they are searching cells and trying to keep a handle on it.

“One key issue is the delivery by drones and they are coming up with methods to handle that issue at present.”

A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said jail authorities are fighting drug use as a medical problem.

He added: “It is the policy of the Irish Prison Service that where a person committed to prison gives a history of opiate use and tests positive for opioids, they are offered a medically assisted symptomatic detoxification, if clinically indicated.

"Patients can, as part of the assessment process, discuss with healthcare staff other treatment options, which may include stabilisation on methadone maintenance for persons who wish to continue on maintenance, while in prison and when they return to the community on release.

“The Irish Prison Service continues to review existing drug treatment programmes.

“All prisoners engaged in drug treatment have the support of healthcare staff and in-reach services as required.”

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

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