North West ‘Through the Gate Substance Misuse Services’ Drug Testing Project – further public health monitoring study – North West Final Report
The Further Public Health Monitoring study was undertaken in 10 North West region prisons in Phase 1 and more widely in Phase 2 as a key element of the ‘Through the Gate’ Substance Misuse Services Project and the wider Transforming Rehabilitation agenda.
The main objectives of the study were to determine drug misuse patterns for public health monitoring purposes and to inform healthcare commissioning intentions. The study also provided an opportunity to review the effectiveness of the ‘Spice’ point of care immunoassay screening test that was at the time being widely used across the prison estate to test for the use of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs).
The study was funded by the Department of Health and the Home Office.
The study used the most up-to-date forensic drug screening programme to screen for a comprehensive range of traditional drugs of abuse, new psychoactive substances and anabolic steroids as well as prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Over 12,000 urine samples were analysed. The study also provided a unique opportunity to triangulate urine drug test results with prison drug seizures and local prescribing practices.
The full report and all appendices are available to read and download below.
NOMS full report