Pattern of Substance Use and Related Factors in Male Prisoners

Ali Khalooei, Mohammadreza Mashayekhi-Dowlatabad, Mohammad Reza Rajabalipour, Abedin Iranpour


Background: Prisoner’s addiction is one of the major problems in many countries which imposes very high medical costs and social harm to communities. This study investigated the pattern of substance use and related factors in male prisoners in one of the prisons in southeastern Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in 2016. The study population was inmates of a prison in southeast Iran. Sampling was carried out randomly according to the list of prisoners. Data were collected using a form and were analyzed with statistics software SPSS.

Findings: More than four-fifths (75.3%) of the subjects consumed at least one substance (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs), 74.4% were smoking, 73.2% used a narcotic substance, and about one-fifth (19.3%) reported drinking alcohol. With a frequency of 62.0%, opium was the most frequently utilized narcotic substance. Poppy juice (31.6%), cannabis (29.8%), crystal (16.9%) and tramadol (16.9%) were the next frequent substances used. A percentage of 41.5% subjects reported using two or more drugs. A percentage of 80.7% subjects reported substance use among their friends, 39.2% by siblings and 37.2% by father. Regression analysis showed predictor variables of substance use were education, substance use by prisoner before being imprisoned, substance use by father, friends and siblings.

Conclusion: This study showed a remarkable prevalence of substance use in prisons, which was more than general population. Therefore, it is necessary to consider alternative penalties of imprisonment due to the factors associated with substance use. Screening of people at high risk for substance use should be considered on admission to prison, and primary prevention measures should be focused on them.


Substance use; Narcotic substances; Alcohol consumption; Prison; Smoking

Full Text:



Mirzaei D, Zamani BE, Mousavi SH. Determination and prioritizing of addiction prevention factors in delfan city, Iran. Addict Health 2011; 3(1-2): 20-8.

Moller L, Stover H, Jürgens R, Gatherer A, Nikogosian H. Health in prisons: A WHO guide to the essentials in prison health. Copenhagen, Denmark: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2007.

Stover H, Michels II. Drug use and opioid substitution treatment for prisoners. Harm Reduct J 2010; 7: 17.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons. Changing patterns of substance misuse in adult prisons and service responses: A thematic review [Online]. [cited 2015 Dec 31]; Available from: URL:

Esmaili I. Harm reduction measures in prison (Methadone treatment) and its effects on quality of life promotion. Research on Addiction 2016; 2(8): 105-20. [In Persian].

Bolhari J. Assessment of drug abuse in Iran's prisons. Research on Addiction 2003; 1(3): 13-50. [In Persian].

Bayanzadeh S, Bolhari J, Atef Vahid M, Nori-Ghasem Abadi R, Lavasani F, Karimi Kisami I. Medical and psychological interventions in reducing the risks of drug abuse and improving the psychological status of drug addicts in Iranian prisons. Razi J Med Sci 2007; 14(55): 47-58. [In Persian].

Ghorbani E, Akbari K. An overview on situation of entry and drug abuse in prisons and provide effective of coping strategies. Drug Control Headquarter Studies 2015; 7(24-25): 61-75. [In Persian].

Kaffashian A, Nokhodian Z, Kassaian N, Babak A, Yaran M, Shoaei P, et al. The experience of hepatitis C screening among prison inmates with drug injection history. J Isfahan Med Sch 2011; 28(Spec): 1565-71. [In Persian].

Mardani A, Shahsavarani M, Sahami Zibafar M, Mardani H, Hosseini Ghavanloii S, Rahchamandi Z, et al. Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) in addict prisoners of central prison of Qom province during 1383-1384. Iran J Infect Dis Trop Med 2009; 4(45): 4-9. [In Persian].

Jamshidi Manesh M, Soleimanifar P, Hosseini F. Personal, familial, social and economical characteristis of jailed addicted women. Iran J Nurs 2005; 17 (40): 47-54. [In Persian].

Jalilian F, Mirzaei Alavijeh M, Amoei M R, Zinat Motlagh F, Hatamzadeh N, Allahverdipour H. Prevalence and pattern of drug abuse among prisoners in Kermanshah city. Iran J Health Educ Health Promot 2013; 1(2): 41-50. [In Persian].

Montanari L, Royuela L, Pasinetti M, Giraudon I, Wiessing L, Vicente J. Drug use and related consequences among prison populations in European countries. In: Enggist S, Moller L, Galea G, Udesen C, editors. Prisons and health. Copenhagen, Denmark: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2014.

Hayton P, Boyington J. Prisons and health reforms in England and Wales. Am J Public Health 2006; 96(10): 1730-3.

Kanato M. Drug use and health among prison inmates. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2008; 21(3): 252-4.

Razzaghi E, Nassirimanesh B, Afshar P, Ohiri K, Claeson M, Power R. HIV/AIDS harm reduction in Iran. Lancet 2006; 368(9534): 434-5.

Long J, Allwright S, Begley C. Prisoners’ views of injecting drug use and harm reduction in Irish prisons. Int J Drug Policy 2004; 15(2): 139-49.

Javadi AA, Pour Ahmad M, Ataei B. Association between frequency and duration of imprisonment with prevalence of hepatitis B,C and HIV in Iranian prisons. J Med Counc I.R. Iran 2007; 24(4): 358-64. [In Persian].

Rahimi-Movaghar A, Amin-Esmaeili M, Haghdoost AA, Sadeghirad B, Mohraz M. HIV prevalence amongst injecting drug users in Iran: a systematic review of studies conducted during the decade 1998-2007. Int J Drug Policy 2012; 23(4): 271-8.

Royuela L, Montanari L, Rosa M, Vicente J. Drug use in prison: assessment report: Reviewing tools for monitoring illicit drug use in prison populations in Europe. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) [Online]. [cited 2014 Feb]; Available from: URL:

Hasan Brooki M. Study the consumption pattern of substances in Urmia. Research on Addiction 2010; 4(14): 43-52. [In Persian].

Narenjiha H. Rapid assessment of drug abuse and drug dependence in Iran in 2004 [Research Project]. Tehran, Iran: Substance Abuse and Dependency Research Center; 2005. [In Persian].

Moulavi P, Rasoulzadeh B. A study of the factors of drug abusetendency in the young population of the city of Ardabil. J Fundam Ment Health 2004; 6(21-22): 49-55. [In Persian].

Mohammadkhani S. Prevalence of cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking and illegal drugs use among Iranian adolescents. J Kerman Univ Med Sci 2012; 19(1): 32-48. [In Persian].

Razaghi MA. Rapid assessment of drug abuse in Iran. vol. 1. Tehran, Iran: Welfare Organization, Department of Cultural and Prevention; 2002. [In Persian].

Momtazi S, Rawson R. Substance abuse among Iranian high school students. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2010; 23(3): 221-6.

Haghdoost AA, Moosazadeh M. The prevalence of cigarette smoking among students of Iran's universities: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Res Med Sci 2013; 18(8): 717-25.

Faizi I, Alibabayi Y, Rahmati MM. The effects of family, friends, and the environment on drug abuse. Iranian Journal of Social Problems 2011; 1(4): 131-50. [In Persian].



  • There are currently no refbacks.