Queensland prisoners testing positive to drugs has doubled since last year

The number of Queensland prisoners testing positive to drugs has doubled since last year, as jailed addicts turn to the prescription opiate, buprenorphine commonly known in prison as "subbies" with 64 of the 102 positive prison drug tests involving the drug.

Experts say Queensland has the nation's worst access to drug treatment programs,
and the ABC has obtained figures showing desperate prisoners are smuggling in buprenorphine, which, like methadone, is used to treat drug dependence.

Drug dogs in jails across the state are currently being trained to sniff out the buprenorphine, which comes in a thin clear patch and is easy to conceal.

Queensland is the only state that doesn’t offer opiate substitution treatment or harm reduction programs in male prisons, even though estimates show there’s more than 80% of the prisoners using drugs prior to their incarceration.

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