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Recognition of problem drinking among young adult prisoners

Plant, Gemma and Taylor, Pamela Jane 2012. Recognition of problem drinking among young adult prisoners. Behavioral Sciences & the Law 30 (2) , pp. 140-153. 10.1002/bsl.2002

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Alcohol is a preventable cause of illness, offending and other adversities worldwide. Prisoners are especially vulnerable. The aim of this study was to test the hypotheses that younger adult male prisoners are more likely to be hazardous drinkers than their older peers, but less likely to recognize this. The study cohort comprised 100 male prisoners aged 18–20 years and 157 aged 21 and over, who were interviewed and completed standard alcohol and drug questionnaires just after reception into prison. It was found that youngermen were significantly more likely to be hazardous drinkers than their older peers but less likely to recognise this, even at scores on theAlcohol UseDisorders IdentificationTest (AUDIT) indicating dependency. They were also less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, the main factor associated with problem drinking recognition at any age. Younger prisoners were less likely to be depressed, more likely to rate their social support as good and less likely to be dependent drug users.We conclude that reliance on younger prisoners to recognise their hazardous drinking would identify about one-fifth of them. With a lower likelihood of withdrawal symptoms than older men, they are probably still metabolizing alcoholmore effectively. Given their similarities to older prisoners in terms of any previous imprisonment and likely personality disorder, formal screening for hazardous drinkingmight prevent decline into problem drug use, depression, reoffending, re-imprisonment, and social disconnection. Copyright#2012 JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0735-3936
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:30

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