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Drug consumption rooms in Belgium? A feasibility study

Louis Favril (UGent)
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Abstract
An extant body of evidence has accumulated over the past decades to support the effectiveness of drug consumption rooms (DCRs) worldwide. The debate about implementing DCRs remains high on the political agenda in a number of countries, including Belgium. Against this background, the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) commissioned a first-ever study to assess the feasibility of DCRs in Belgium. The objective of the current study was to identify (legal) preconditions, design and operational considerations that would allow a DCR to be added within a continuum of policy initiatives for people who use drugs (PWUD) in five Belgian cities. In addition to an in-depth analysis of the legal framework within a DCR could operate in Belgium, we conducted a feasibility study with local stakeholders and PWUD from each of the five cities, in order to formulate recommendations specifically tailored to the Belgian context. More specifically, we conducted 46 one-to-one, semi-structured interviews with a diversity of professional stakeholders, and five focus groups with PWUD (N=62). If a Belgian city should decide to move forward with the implementation of one or more DCRs, the present study provides empirically-founded and hands-on recommendations, categorized in four groups; (1) essential preconditions (e.g., legal framework, funding and political support); (2) main considerations when implementing a DCR (e.g., possible models, admission criteria, cooperation with law enforcement, staff, registration); (3) the implantation process (e.g., involvement of PWUD, community consultation and engagement process); and (4) monitoring and evaluation (outcome indicators and methodological challenges). Results are discussed in light of international good practices.

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Citation

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Chicago
Favril, Louis. 2018. “Drug Consumption Rooms in Belgium? A Feasibility Study.” In 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP). Vancouver, Canada.
APA
Favril, L. (2018). Drug consumption rooms in Belgium? A feasibility study. 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP). Presented at the 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP), Vancouver, Canada.
Vancouver
1.
Favril L. Drug consumption rooms in Belgium? A feasibility study. 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP). Vancouver, Canada; 2018.
MLA
Favril, Louis. “Drug Consumption Rooms in Belgium? A Feasibility Study.” 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP). Vancouver, Canada, 2018. Print.
@inproceedings{8563337,
  abstract     = {An extant body of evidence has accumulated over the past decades to support the effectiveness of drug consumption rooms (DCRs) worldwide. The debate about implementing DCRs remains high on the political agenda in a number of countries, including Belgium. Against this background, the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) commissioned a first-ever study to assess the feasibility of DCRs in Belgium. The objective of the current study was to identify (legal) preconditions, design and operational considerations that would allow a DCR to be added within a continuum of policy initiatives for people who use drugs (PWUD) in five Belgian cities. In addition to an in-depth analysis of the legal framework within a DCR could operate in Belgium, we conducted a feasibility study with local stakeholders and PWUD from each of the five cities, in order to formulate recommendations specifically tailored to the Belgian context. More specifically, we conducted 46 one-to-one, semi-structured interviews with a diversity of professional stakeholders, and five focus groups with PWUD (N=62). If a Belgian city should decide to move forward with the implementation of one or more DCRs, the present study provides empirically-founded and hands-on recommendations, categorized in four groups; (1) essential preconditions (e.g., legal framework, funding and political support); (2) main considerations when implementing a DCR (e.g., possible models, admission criteria, cooperation with law enforcement, staff, registration); (3) the implantation process (e.g., involvement of PWUD, community consultation and engagement process); and (4) monitoring and evaluation (outcome indicators and methodological challenges). Results are discussed in light of international good practices.
},
  author       = {Favril, Louis},
  booktitle    = {12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP)},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Vancouver, Canada},
  title        = {Drug consumption rooms in Belgium? A feasibility study},
  year         = {2018},
}