BTDIR - Belgian Treatment Demand Indicator Register

Last updated on 19-7-2022 by Jérôme Antoine
January 1, 2011
Project with no end date

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In short

The collection of information on patients treated for their consumption of alcohol or drugs provides a better understanding of the current situation and substance abuse trends in Belgium. These data, related to the socio-economic profile of patients as well as their habits in terms of substance use, have been documented since 2011 in the Belgian Treatment Demand Indicator Register (BTDIR). This register is a source of information that is reliable, qualitative and comparable over time and which can guide health policy and societal debates.

Project summary

The indicator for treatment demands linked to the use of drugs or alcohol (Treatment Demand Indicator or TDI) is the standardized reference tool, which has been used for over 20 years in all European countries to collect information on the sociodemographic characteristics of patients, their substance use and risk-taking habits. This epidemiological indicator aims to analyze, compare and monitor the trends of these characteristics over time, potentially along with other indicators, to guide policies and action plans concerning drugs or alcohol.

In Belgium, this indicator has been collected since 2011 in a large number of health institutions offering treatment to patients with an addiction problem. The data are collected by health professionals during face-to-face meetings with patients, using a standardized questionnaire of around twenty questions. The indicator also uses the patients’ national register number in a secure and anonymized form as a unique identifier, which makes it possible to guarantee the quality of the data, to monitor people over time and to potentially link this data with other databases that use the same number.

The substance abuse problem is often difficult to gauge because of its low prevalence in the general population, because of its illicit nature or the feeling of stigmatization within this population. That is why the TDI register is of such great importance to scientists, policy decision-makers and social actors, because it is one of the rare sources of reliable information that is continuous over time and representative, linked to substance abuse.

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