Addiction Help Centres

Initially, assistance to addicts mainly consisted of offering help with withdrawal and providing methadone to heroin addicts. From the 1990s onwards, aid was further professionalised. This professionalization was necessary because insights into the addiction problem changed, the drug problem became bigger and bigger - partly due to the emergence of 'new' drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine (speed) and because in many cases addicts are multi-drug users and more and more often besides an addiction problem also psychological problems whether or not caused by the use of drugs, alcohol or medication.

The addiction care institutions of today offer a wide range of different forms of assistance. In addition to the still existing methadone delivery and withdrawal clinics, psychosocial assistance is offered, day and part-time treatments are provided, assistance is provided in the areas of finance and resocialization, there are activity programs for addicts and there are clinics where addicts can have a so-called time-out to regain strength. In addition, attention is given to prevention and information and information is given to partners and relatives of addicts.

Addiction Prevention Programmes

With prevention, we try to prevent problematic substance use and to promote health and well-being. This is done through education in companies, facilities and institutions, online programmes and community-based projects.

Good substance prevention programmes maintain the following characteristics

  • attention to the individual, their resources and their environment
  • focuses on strengthening their protective factors and reducing thir risk factors
  • takes into account the characteristics of substance users (age, gender, cultural background, risk factors, ...)
  • works on longer terms and ensures ongoing continuity of care
  • involves the target group documentation in the design, implementation and evaluation of the prevention program

Prevention programmes are more than simply information transfer. Attention must be paid to the available drugs (substances, availability), the effect on metabolism, the recognition of the use, the effects on the environment, how to deal with this and the social context of the use, and how when it is best to intervene to solve the issue.

Desirable prevention in substance use is

  • Radical  : as close as possible to the roots
If you want to tackle substance abuse, and the problem behaviour occurs in primary or secondary education (a number of children in LO / SO get into problems through substance use), then those roots are, for example, the circle of friends. A radical approach will, therefore, try to reach that circle of friends (via organizations or places where friends meet, such as youth clubs, youth centres, playgrounds, ... via actors who have an impact on them).
  • Offensive  : dialogue in the language of the addict
A defensive campaign means that we assume that the target group is not strong enough to make the right choices (the traditional brochure campaign). An offensive campaign means that the social resilience of young people is improved.
  • Integral  : person-oriented and context-oriented
Integrality means that prevention takes place person-oriented (making the person think) and context-oriented (tinkering with the structure, making a children's right case, annual consultation with a number of services).
  • Participative  : from the beginning to the end of substance user involvement
In this vision, prevention can only succeed if the substance user himself has the opportunity to say what the problem is and how it can be neutralized (and he can see the point of offensiveness). Indirect input comes from the environment (parents, the school, counsellors, if possible police & justice).
  • Demographic  : also reach hard-to-reach subgroups
Analysis of the most difficult to reach target group usually falls into the water under the pressure of limited manpower, financial resources and time.