Look out for noticeable changes in behaviour and physical appearance; i.e weight loss, becoming withdrawn from social interaction or confusion.
Positively challenge known/ suspected Spice use. Assure prisoners that support is available.
Make referrals to substance misuse providers for psychosocial interventions, including 1:1 and support groups.
Ensure you are working closely with substance misuse, healthcare and offender management providers. To properly address drug use you need all these teams to be involved.
Provide basic harm reduction advice, as a minimum, for those prisoners unable to engage fully with psychosocial support.
GOING THROUGH A SPICE ATTACK IS TERRIFYING. IF IT HAPPENS, REMEMBER TO BREATHE AND DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THOSE INTENSE FEELING WILL FADE. SPEAK TO SOMEONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE SEEN BY A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL AFTERWARDS
LAURA DE FRANCO, SENIOR CASE MANAGER CATCH22
Before you enter a wing, landing or room, observe and scan the environment. If you see smoke or can smell anything unfamiliar, avoid the area and go somewhere you know is safe. Spice is generally scentless however can have a metallic or a generic burning/chemical smell.
Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to experience any undesirable or adverse symptoms. Initially this may be light-headedness, dizziness, increased heart-rate etc.
Avoid directly approaching service users if you suspect them to be under the influence of Spice. Alert an operational member of staff of your concerns and report the matter as per your local arrangements.
Use your team meetings to discuss with colleagues and line manager any new trends or behaviour you have noticed on the wings. Ensure this happens regularly and on an ongoing basis.
Approach your line manager directly if you feel that Spice or any other substance misuse within the prison is negatively impacting upon your health.
This guide was written as a training guide for our people, but we think it could be useful for everyone working inside the custodial estate. We hope it helps you.