Sciensano collects and analyses data on the different types of drugs, the patterns of drug use, harms, health and social responses, the drug market and the regulations and policies implemented with regard to drugs in Belgium.
Drugs can be used for both medicinal and recreational purposes, either of which can lead to harmful or addictive behaviour. The Sciensano’s Illicit drugs unit take various drugs into account including illicit drugs — e.g. cocaine, crack, ketamine, amphetamine, ecstasy, MDMA, heroine, new psychoactive substances, etc. — and more socially accepted drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and medicinal products.
In relation to these drugs, we study and analyse the following topics:
- Types of drugs
- Patterns of drug use
- Risks related to drugs
- Health and social responses
- Drug market
- Regulation and policy
This enables us to respond to important drug-related health issues. We conduct both qualitative and quantitative methods such as in-depth interviews, surveys, analysis of health registry data and toxicological analyses of drug samples.
Want to know more?
For more information about our work on drug-related monitoring, research and support to policymakers, please visit the Illicit drugs unit page.
If you want to know more about our internal and external collaborations on drugs, please visit the role page.