chapter  19
19 Pages

The prison drug worker

ByMichael Wheatley

The Prison Drug Worker (PDW) is a relatively new role within the Prison Service, and as policy and strategy have developed so the role has become clarified. Fundamentally, the role relates to drug treatment interventions and administration, although awareness of security and supply reduction are also relevant to the job. The PDW helps address problems related to problematic drug use largely associated with the consumption of illicit supplies of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, amphetamine, ecstasy, cannabis and volatile substances such as gases and solvents. The abuse of prescription medications is also a subject of intervention. Alcohol dependency is only treated when part of a poly-drugusing profile, as funding for alcohol-only interventions has yet to be identified and allocated. The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has developed services for young people in custody that will address all substance-misuse needs, including alcohol, tobacco and solvents as well as drugs. The arrangements for these services are set out as standards and service requirements in the ‘National Specification for Substance Misuse Services for Juveniles in Custody’ and should be referred to specifically for further information (Youth Justice Board 2005).