Belgium Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related emergencies

Information on drug-related emergencies for Belgium is available from crisis intervention centres (CICs) and the Belgian Early Warning System on Drugs. Since 2011, the number of admissions and the length of stay for every admission in CIC have been registered on a monthly basis. The information currently available from CICs suggests stable numbers of admissions — and therefore of potential non-fatal intoxications — since 2011. In 2017, around 1 750 admissions related to illegal drugs were registered. The drugs most commonly linked to admissions are cannabis, cocaine and opiates. The emergency rooms of the hospitals UZ Ghent and ZNA Stuivenberg in Antwerp participate in the European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN Plus) project, which was established in 2013 to monitor acute drug toxicity in sentinel centres across Europe.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.