Addiction Rehab in Belgium
According to the Belgian Drug Report, 10.1% of young people aged 15 to 34 use cannabis, 0.8% ecstasy, 0.5% amphetamines and 0.9% cocaine. In Belgium, cannabis accounted for 35% of all treatment participants, amphetamines 9%, cocaine 25%, heroin 19% and another 13%.
Drug policy in Belgium is defined by the 2001 Federal Drug Policy Note. The objectives of the policy are prevention of drug use, assistance to those who use psychoactive substances, harm reduction and treatment.
Prevention and intervention are covered in both the Flemish and French communities of Belgium. Both the Flemish Center of Expertise for Alcohol and Other Drugs (VAD) and the French Community Commission (COCOF) have implemented local and universal measures to combat substance dependence. This includes school education programs that describe the risk of substance use, life skills education, peer prevention, and increased counseling services. In terms of harm reduction, the Belgian government has introduced community support groups and needle and syringe programs (NSPs).
Particular attention was also paid to the provision of inpatient and outpatient care, which is available through local health services. This article will focus on the rehabilitation of drug addicts and alcoholics in Belgium. Admission to rehabilitation in Belgium is possible through public health services.
There are a number of services available, such as outpatient or inpatient treatment. Access to outpatient care is by consultation with a doctor, such as a general practitioner (GP), or by contacting a local day care center or social assistance center. Outpatient treatment includes reintegration services, opioid substitution therapy (OST), and psychiatric and psychological services such as therapy and counseling. Inpatient treatment is also available through local medical services such as specialized hospital departments or local specialized intervention centers. People are advised to contact their primary care physician to access the inpatient care program.
Addiction can be both physical and psychological. Physical dependence refers to the physiological dependence on a substance for the proper functioning of the body. When a person is physically dependent, they need a substance to avoid physiological withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, and tremors. When an addiction affects a person’s cognitive function and when the cognitive functions require a substance to function properly, it is called a psychological addiction. This can be twofold: a person needs a substance to achieve a desired emotional or mental state, or a person needs a substance to alleviate certain mental problems.
This may include mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. The first step in overcoming a physical or psychological addiction is detoxification. It is the process by which the brain and body release addictive substances.
The process of detoxification can vary from person to person and substance to substance. Some variables that affect the detoxification process and how long it takes are the type of substance, how long the person takes it, and the method used to get the substance into the bloodstream. Heroin, for example, can be consumed in a variety of ways, such as by injection or inhalation.
Research has shown that injecting heroin can lead to addiction more quickly and therefore requires a longer detox period. Research shows that the time it takes for a substance to reach the brain can affect how quickly a person becomes addicted and their level of tolerance to that drug. The reason for this is that the faster the substance enters the bloodstream, the faster it reaches the brain. The higher the tolerance, the more the person will consume the substance.
People with high tolerance may need more time to detox. However, research shows that, on average, heroin addicts experience withdrawal symptoms after 4-6 hours and can last up to 7 days. Abstinence can last from 6 to 14 hours and up to 5 days. Cocaine withdrawal begins 8-12 hours after the last dose and can last up to 7 days.
Withdrawal symptoms for these substances can vary, usually ranging from mild to severe. Mild symptoms of heroin withdrawal include anxiety, stress and fatigue. Serious symptoms include fever, high blood pressure and breathing problems. Mild alcohol symptoms include anxiety, nausea and vomiting.
Severe symptoms may include delirium and loss of mental function. With cocaine, mild symptoms may be anxiety and depression. Severe symptoms include fever and depression.
In Belgium, inpatient and outpatient services are provided for people addicted to heroin, alcohol or cocaine. For outpatient treatment, services include detox support, mental health support, and free counseling and therapy.
Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is available for heroin addicts. OST is available from general practitioners and specialized public institutions. Those who wish to undergo OST will receive methadone or buprenorphine.
For those who suffer from alcohol dependence, there are several medications available to assist in the detox process. These include benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and anxiolytics. Local hospitals and specialized centers also offer inpatient treatment for heroin, alcohol and cocaine addiction.
When participating in the inpatient treatment program, people will receive round-the-clock medical care, including supervised detoxification. After detox is completed, people receive specialized therapy and counseling, develop a relapse prevention plan, and participate in a follow-up care program.
When a person has both a mental health problem and a substance addiction, it is called a dual diagnosis. Research has shown that both mental health issues and substance addiction interact differently, such as one leading to the other or perpetuating associated symptoms. Research shows that substance addiction can lead to various mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. For example, heroin has been found to interact with chemicals in the brain leading to depression even in people who have never suffered from it before.
Many people also use substances to cope with mental health problems. Substances such as alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine are commonly used to achieve a desired emotional and mental state. However, prolonged use of the substance increases the likelihood of addiction.
How long does rehabilitation in Belgium take? Several factors can affect the amount of time a person spends in recovery. This includes the type of substance the person is addicted to and the duration of the addiction. These factors will be used to determine the best treatment plan.
What are the types of rehabilitation therapy in Belgium? When admitted to rehab, as part of the substance abuse process, people receive therapy and counseling. It can be a wide range, but most treatments have the same goal: to help understand why substance dependence has arisen, how it can be overcome, and how to avoid relapse in the future. Every rehab is different and people are more likely to receive therapy tailored to their needs and goals.
Research has shown that changing negative thoughts to positive ones often leads to positive behavioral changes. In turn, the more positive changes a person makes to their behavior, the more likely they are to think positively. CBT also includes meeting with professionals who ask various questions about how people think and behave. People will then learn effective tools that can be used to change negative thinking patterns, such as cognitive reappraisal. People can also get Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is very similar to CBT but focuses on emotions and emotions. DBT is usually a long-term therapy and teaches skills such as emotion management, emotion control, and reappraisal. Some rehab centers place patients under emergency management (CM).