Powerful psychotropic drug used in Canada’s federal prisons

Global News

TORONTO – Canada’s prison watchdog has launched an investigation into the prescribing practices in federal prisons, after it was revealed that more than 60 per cent of female inmates across the country are receiving psychiatric medication.

A joint investigation by The Canadian Press and CBC has learned that in August 2013, of 591 female federal inmates in five correctional institutions, 370 were being prescribed at least one psychotropic medication, drugs that impact mood and behaviour.

When separated by region, the prescription rate jumps to almost 75 per cent in prisons such as the Nova Institution for Women in Nova Scotia, the Joliette Institution for Women in Quebec and the Fraser Valley Institution for Women in British Columbia.

That is a significant increase from 2001, when the prescription rate was 42 per cent, according to a study by Correctional Service Canada that raised concerns about what it called “overprescribing and multiple…

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