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PriSUD - Diagnosing and treating substance use in prison

Our research aims to help improve the quality of life for inmates with substance use disorders.

About the project

PriSUD is a project at the Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF), and will be the first longitudinal study examining inmates with substance abuse disorders in three Nordic countries. 


The overall goal of PriSUD is to develop new knowledge that contributes to better mental and physical health, and to improved quality of life for people in prison living with substance abuse disorders. The project aims to examine inmates in three different time periods related to imprisonment: before imprisonment, during imprisonment and post-release.


About half of all inmates have a substance abuse disorder when they go to prison. After release, the risk of overdose death and relapse into substance abuse is very high. To improve inmates' quality of life, it is therefore important to detect substance abuse disorders upon arrival at the prison and to offer adequate treatment during imprisonment.

PriSUD will build on the Nordic countries' potential for research, including universal health rights for all citizens, national health registries and good public services. To achieve our ambitious goals, we have put together a strong, interdisciplinary research group to collect and analyze data linking several national registers.

Furthermore, we have also developed a qualitative study using ethnographic fieldwork and semi-structured interviews methods to investigate how drug treatment is implemented and integrated in the prison context. Another important goal of the project is to communicate all research produced to a wide audience including current and former inmates, user organizations, politicians, prison staff as well as the general population.

The project has two main parts: PriSUD-Norway and PriSUD-Nordic. In addition, the project has many sub-projects and collaborations both nationally and internationally. Read here for more detailed information about PriSUD.



Published Jan. 27, 2022 1:41 PM - Last modified Mar. 22, 2022 2:53 PM