Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 105, Issue 3, pp e198–e202 | Cite as

Drug use prior to incarceration and associated socio-behavioural factors among males in a provincial correctional facility in Ontario, Canada

  • Fiona G. KouyoumdjianEmail author
  • Liviana M. Calzavara
  • Lori Kiefer
  • Cheryl Main
  • Susan J. Bondy
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of drug use in males in a provincial detention centre during the year before incarceration and to examine the association between socio-demographic and behavioural factors and drug use.

METHODS: In 2009, 500 adult males completed a survey after admission to a provincial detention centre in Ontario. Past-year prevalence rates were calculated for the use of opioids, cocaine, crack and methamphetamine, and by route of administration. Bivariate logistic regression was used to examine associations between drug use and socio-demographic and behavioural factors.

RESULTS: More than 56% of participants reported use of opioids, cocaine, crack or methamphetamine in the previous year. Risk factors for blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections were commonly reported for the previous year: 12.2% had injected drugs, 78.0% had had unprotected sex, and 48.0% had had more than one sexual partner. In unadjusted analyses, participants who were older than 24 years were more likely to have used any drugs and to have injected drugs in the previous year.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first Canadian data in the past decade on drug use by recently incarcerated adults. We found that drug use and behaviours that increase the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections remain very common in this population. Incarceration provides an opportunity to provide services and links to programs for people who use drugs, which could decrease drug-related harms to individuals and society.

Key Words

Prisons drug use disorders substance use disorders street drugs 


OBJECTIFS: Décrire la prévalence de la consommation de drogue dans la population carcérale masculine d’un centre de détention provincial durant l’année précédant l’incarcération et examiner l’association entre les facteurs sociodémographiques et comportementaux et la consommation de drogue.

MÉTHODE: En 2009, 500 hommes adultes ont rempli un questionnaire après leur arrivée dans un centre de détention provincial en Ontario. Les taux de prévalence de l’année antérieure ont été calculés pour la consommation d’opioïdes, de cocaïne, de crack et de méthamphétamine, et selon la voie d’administration de ces drogues. Une régression logistique bivariée a servi à examiner les liens entre la consommation de drogue et les facteurs sociodémographiques et comportementaux.

RÉSULTATS: Plus de 56 % des participants ont déclaré avoir consommé des opioïdes, de la cocaïne, du crack ou de la méthamphétamine au cours de l’année antérieure. Des facteurs de risque d’infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang ont souvent été déclarés pour l’année antérieure: 12,2 % s’étaient injecté de la drogue, 78 % avaient eu des rapports sexuels non protégés, et 48 % avaient eu plus d’une ou d’un partenaire sexuel. Selon nos analyses non ajustées, les participants de plus de 24 ans étaient plus susceptibles d’avoir consommé l’une de ces drogues et de s’être injecté de la drogue au cours de l’année antérieure.

CONCLUSIONS: Cette étude présente les premières données canadiennes de la dernière décennie sur la consommation de drogue chez des adultes récemment incarcérés. Nous constatons que la consommation de drogue et les comportements qui augmentent le risque de transmission des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang sont encore très courants dans cette population. L’incarcération présente la possibilité d’offrir des services aux personnes qui consomment de la drogue et de les aiguiller vers des programmes, ce qui pourrait réduire les méfaits liés à la drogue au niveau individuel et sociétal.

Mots Clés

prison troubles dus à la consommation de drogue troubles liés à une substance drogues de rue 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona G. Kouyoumdjian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liviana M. Calzavara
    • 2
  • Lori Kiefer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cheryl Main
    • 4
  • Susan J. Bondy
    • 2
  1. 1.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional ServicesTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Department of MicrobiologyHamilton General HospitalHamiltonCanada

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