Medication non-compliance rates are high due to prisoners being “stood over” by other prisoners for either favours or physical harm.
Figures support that up to 20% of the prison population suffer some form of psychiatric illness. Up to 80% of prisoners in Australian prisons are on medication for either psychiatric or physical reasons. As the prison population is growing older, this problem has increased in recent years.
The most common practice adopted by nurses in dispensing medications in custodial settings is to “wet” all of it; this means they place the medication in water and wait until it dissolves. This situation generally never happens as nursing staff are under time pressure to complete medication rounds. This leads to significant issues in the prison population, as those needing medication may not receive their intended dose thus leading to an increase in care needs.
As an example, synthetic Heroine, Methadone, is given in liquid from to avoid the above issues. The prisoner is given his/her Methadone in liquid form and is asked to sit down for up to half an hour so the Methadone is absorbed and cannot be vomited up.
This is an illustration of a real life problem, which led the author to invent a means to liquefy solid dose medication.