I want you to stay with me while I reflect on a news story from the UK. It appears that so-called Legal Highs, or, more correctly New Psychoactive Substances are a major problem in the prison population. So big is this problem that it is damaging local ambulance services according to Nick Hardwick the
Chief Inspector of Prisons. Abuse of psychoactive substances is the “top jail security problem” he says and according the the BBC ’emergency calls for prisoners with fits and blackouts had depleted local ambulance services’ and had led to the deaths of 67 prisoners in England and Wales last year. The Prison Service has responded to the report by stating that it takes a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the issue.
Now, what you may be asking, has all of this to do with me? Well, today’s report coincides with a telephone call that I took yesterday from a lady whose father is serving a three year prison sentence though I don’t know what for – I didn’t ask. And why was this lady telephoning me? Because her father, like herself, has Pernicious Anaemia. And, like a great many patients, they supplement their treatment offered by their doctor using the sub-lingual spray in between their three month injections.
“They’ve confiscated the spray” she told me. “They won’t let him have more frequent injections and he’s in a terrible state”.
There was little I could do except to offer to write to the Prison Governor explaining the problem faced by patients who need more frequent replacement therapy treatment in whatever form.
“It’s ridiculous” the daughter told me. “He told me he could get hold of all manner of drugs, including legal highs, yet he can’t get hold of an essential vitamin”.
I don’t think there’s anything more I need say on this.