High risk of overdose death among former inmates

Ullersmo PrisonUllersmo Prison. Photo: Norway Today Media

Many die of overdose shortly after they are released from prison, according to new research.

– Although we knew that there was an elevated risk of death by an overdose after release, we were still almost knocked out when we saw these numbers, researcher Anne Bukten at the Centre for Addiction Research (Seraph) at the University of Oslo, says to NRK news.

Seraph has in collaboration with other researchers examined all releases from prison in Norway between 2000 and 2015.

Research shows that a total of 493 people were died of an overdose the first six months after release in this period. In the first week after release, a staggering 123 persons died of an overdose.

Several of them died within the first three days. In all, 85 percent of all deaths that occur within one week after release are due to overdose.

– We see that we have a large accumulation in the time just after release.  We see that the risk of overdose is already peaking virtually in the same instant inmates walk out of the prison, says Bukten, who is one of the researchers behind the study.

She believes many lives could be saved if action is taken before the inmates are released, and if the cooperation between the care- and prison systems works well.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today