A week of discussion on drugs and behavioral addiction, an initiative of various umbrella organisations together with the medical sector and other groups, began on Monday in the Brussels city hall.
Monday's central theme was the (de)criminalisation of drug use. In that regard, Tom Decorte, professor of criminology at Ghent University, noted that there was a gap between what is known through scientific studies and experiences in the field and action on the political front.
Drug policy in Belgium is aimed at reducing the supply and demand of drugs, an approach that has proven its ineffectiveness, he said. "Decriminalising personal use would be a fundamental signal," Decorte argued.
Tuesday's theme is Drugs, Health and Justice''. On Wednesday, doctors, health professionals and researchers come together. On Thursday the annual study day of the Flemish expertise center for Alcohol and other Drugs (VAD) takes place, while Friday will see innovative practices in the field of drugs and addiction discussed.
The initiators of the week are the Forum Addiction et Société,' which consists of a large number of field workers and experts, VAD and its French-speaking counterparts FEDITO BXL and FEDITO wallonne, SMART on Drugs, a Flemish citizens' movement that strives for a different and more humane drug policy, and # STOP1921, a civil society campaign.