Too few beds for addicts

12th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 March 2007, BRUSSELS – There is a chronic shortage of beds for underage drug addicts. The 20 places available in Flanders can not even be filled because of a shortage of staff, the Gazet van Antwerpen reports.

12 March 2007

BRUSSELS – There is a chronic shortage of beds for underage drug addicts. The 20 places available in Flanders can not even be filled because of a shortage of staff, the Gazet van Antwerpen reports.

"We are supposed to be a treatment centre for underage drug addicts, but we are an emergency hospital," says Joris Cracco, head of the youth unit at drug help centre De Sleutel.

"Because there are such limited resources for staff, the twenty beds cannot even be filled, " Cracco complains.

"Nor does the new youth law provide for extra resources to help underage addicts. Because people wait so long before referring young people to us, they only get sent here when they are in a crisis. So my people are rushing from one crisis to another and we can do nothing but keep patients in intensive care and pick up the pieces, we never get a chance for actual treatment."

"It is high time that we start protecting the youth and clearly explain to them the consequences of substance abuse. Tell them that even just experimenting can lead to addiction and that there is a chance that they will end up committing crimes, hitting someone with their car or beating someone up," says An Van Duyse, medical director at De Sleutel.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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