First safe drugs consumption space in Brussels officially opens its doors

First safe drugs consumption space in Brussels officially opens its doors
The risk reduction space focuses on the health and safety of those struggling with substance abuse. Credit: Canva

The first safe drug consumption space, also called risk reduction space, was opened in the Rue de Woeringen on Thursday, announced the neighbourhood committee 'Comité Alhambra' on its Facebook page.

The space, called Gate, is where drug users can safely inject and consume drugs in a healthy environment, and can also get counselling and healthcare. The plan was announced in July 2021 and was supposed to open in December, but was repeatedly postponed. After lots of preparation, drawing on experiences in Liège and Paris, the doors finally opened.

"As always, the Alhambra Comité has argued for structural solutions such as a user consumption space, because such a space can tackle the nuisance in residential areas and offer targeted support to drug addicts," the committee said on its Facebook page.

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In addition to being a safe consumption space, Gate also wants to be a place where people can seek and find help. "The name was chosen deliberately. It has to be a symbol," a spokesperson told Bruzz last month.

"Through this 'gate', people who are in a vulnerable situation can take the step towards something better. People living on the street often have no identity card, no social security and therefore no access to healthcare," he said.

"Health is paramount at Gate, and we want to offer everyone full medical care."

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