Psychoactive Medication Misadventuring in Correctional Health Care

J Correct Health Care. 2014 Jul;20(3):249-260. doi: 10.1177/1078345814532419. Epub 2014 Jun 16.


Due to multiple factors, unprecedented numbers of individuals with mental health disorders and many with comorbid substance use disorders are now incarcerated in jails and prisons. This article details a variety of medication use and potential abuse/misuse/misadventuring topics that are unique to the correctional health care setting, with emphasis on how the large number of persons with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders affects these issues and methods that correctional systems commonly use to manage these inmate-patients. Also discussed are the potential for inmate feigning or malingering as a goal-directed behavior, potential for misadventuring/abuse of commonly used medications, urine drug screening/surveillance, and the effect of psychoactive medications on heat tolerance and environmental issues.

Keywords: drug abuse; inmates; mental illness; prisons; psychoactive medications.