The use of illegal drugs involves many long- and short-term risks. Do not endanger your health: do not use illegal drugs! If, however, you do in fact use illegal drugs, it is advisable to be supported or accompanied by some other person who can call the emergency services in the case of sudden severe illness.

Drug abuse in Belgium 

According to the Health Interview Survey (only in French and Dutch):

  • Cannabis is the most used illicit substance followed by amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine.
  • Today 1 out of 7 people aged from 15 to 64 has used cannabis at some stage in their lives (15%).
  • Among present users, 21% use cannabis intensively, i.e. 20 days at least in the last month (almost daily use). 
  • The average age for the use of cannabis for the first time is 18 years and 5 months in the population aged from 15 to 64.
  • 3.6% of the population aged from 15 to 64 are thought to have taken cocaine, amphetamines or opiates at some stage of their lives.
  • Most patients in treatment are treated for the use of cannabis and/or opiates (among others heroin). 
  • Opiates (heroin, morphine etc.) and cocaine remain the most popular injectable drugs in Belgium.
  • More than half of the injecting drug users started to use drugs before the age of 21. 

NB! These figures are subject to change. Consult the latest figures on the Drugs epidemiology Belgium's website.

Drug use in Europe

According to the Health Interview Survey (only in French and Dutch):

  • Cannabis (hashish or marijuana) is the illicit drug most used in Europe.
  • Cocaine is the second most used drug in Europe.

Sciensano collects data and analyses the consumption of drugs, the drug market, the consequences for health, requests for treatment and the policies implemented with regard to drugs in Belgium.

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