BRUSSELS - With a delay of more than 6 months, the drug use space GATE opened its doors in the Belgian capital on May 5, 2022.
The concept of harm reduction is based on the idea that where drug addiction cannot be limited or may be difficult to eradicate, it should at least be made as safe as possible for high-risk drug consumers who are not ready or willing to stop taking drugs. But can this work in Brussels and can this damage prevention tool be developed in other cities in Belgium, especially in Flanders?
GATE is the last of 96 drug consumption centers (DCR) to open in more than 60 cities in Europe; the first has been around in Switzerland since 1986. Despite much skepticism about these facilities from some political parties and public opinion, these centers have proven to be effective and able to help drug users cope with their addiction, while also supporting them by offering other services.
The journalistic project documents the emergence of such a new center in Belgium and follows the fortunes of this social health institution, its users, and social workers.
Photo: ©Daniela De Lorenzo
- Gebruikers van harddrugs vinden poort naar nieuwe opvangruimte, Apache, 28/07/2022 (only in Dutch)