Region’s prisoners addicted to drugs are getting younger

CANNABIS USE: Drug is now widespread because many consider it ‘legal’.

PRISONERS in the region of Murcia who are addicted to drugs are getting younger. A Red Cross report on inmates in prisons in Sangonera and Campos del Río, has shown how drug use has evolved since the 1980’s when heroin use was the main form of drug abuse amongst inmates.

 Now, cannabis and cocaine account for around 90 per cent of cases, with abusers becoming younger.

The Murcia Region was one of the first in Europe to implement a programme to treat addicted prisoners. 


According to the Red Cross coordinator of the Drug Dependency Care Programme in Prisons, Manuela Martinez Saorin, different consumption patterns had been observed of drug use since 1987 when the programme was launched. 

Speaking at the 28th National Conference on Addiction, HIV and Prisons, Saorin said cannabis use was now widespread, largely because many considered it ‘legal’ and was a drug that has become ‘very socialised.’

 “Meanwhile cocaine does not have a broad awareness of its problems until after around four years when after this time the most overt form of addiction takes hold,” she added.

The National Conference on Addiction, HIV and Prisons has the involvement of 156 people from all communities in Spain. 

Martinez recalled that the Red Cross is a pioneer in the treatment of addictions in prisons and has programmes in both of Murcia’s prisons. 

One of its objectives is to use the period of detention for reducing consumption or recovery of people with this problem and motivate them to stay clean when released from jail.



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