Prison Population

(Prison Population) "The Belgian prison population increased with 19.7% between 2000 and 2009 and this increase continues over the period 2009-2011 (Aebi and Delgrande 2011, p. 39). Where on the first of September 2009 the total number of prisoners is 10,901 (Aebi and Delgrande 2011, p. 39), the total number of prisoners on the first of September two years later, in 2011, is 11,913 (Directorate-general of Penitentiary Institutions 2011b). Belgium is not an exception and is confronted with the problem of prison overcrowding (Aebi and Delgrande 2011, p. 38).

Seizure Data and Trends

(Seizure Data and Trends) "The numbers of drug seizures based on the GND, are provided in Table 10.2 for the years 2006-2010. For all years, the majority of the drug seizures contained cannabis (herbs, plants or resin). This percentage of cannabis related seizures gradually increased from 67.9% (95%CI: 67.4% - 68.4%) in 2006 to 72.8% (95%CI: 72.4% - 73.2%) in 2009. This increasing trend stabilized in 2010 with 72.3% of the seizures being cannabis related (95%CI: 71.8% - 72.7%).

Home Cannabis Cultivation

(Home Cannabis Cultivation) "A recent overview of the research and police data on cannabis cultivation in Belgium and The Netherlands (Decorte 2010), pointed to the fact that the small-scale home growers constitute an important segment of the Belgian cannabis market. These small-scale home growers are more and more working in a professional way. However, they are not necessarily profit-oriented. Reasons for this increase in small-scale growing of cannabis could be the dissatisfaction with the cannabis products sold in the Dutch coffee shops (Decorte 2010)."

Trafficking and Transshipment

(Trafficking and Transshipment) "Information about the trafficking patterns for drugs in Belgium is also provided by the Belgian federal police. During the past 4 years, more and more cannabis plantations were found in Belgium (see also Table 10.6), of which the production is often meant for export to The Netherlands. This could be a consequence of the more severe prosecution of cannabis-related organised crime in The Netherlands. Furthermore, Belgium is a trafficking country for cannabis resin.

Social Exclusion and Drug Treatment

(Social Exclusion and Drug Treatment) "Based on the Belgian Treatment Demand Indicator data of 2009, some indicators of social exclusion can be studied. More than one third (33.2%) of all persons entering treatment in 2009 had no school degree or only a degree of primary education (Table 8.3). The proportion of persons without school degree is considerably higher among persons between 45 and 54 years (45.0%) and those over 55 years old (52.6%) (Table 8.5), and among persons with cannabis as main problem substance (41.3%) (Table 8.4).

Syringe Distribution

(Syringe Distribution) "In the Flemish Community, 571,825 syringes were distributed in 2010, and 592,123 were returned, resulting in a “recuperation rate” of 103.6% (Windelinckx and Bosschaerts 2011) (see also ST10_2011_BE_01). In the Walloon region, 297,260 syringes were distributed through the 16 official fixed-site and mobile services and 286.866 were returned, resulting in a recuperation rate of 96.5% (Casero et al. 2010) (see also ST10_2011_BE_02).

Drug-Related Mortality

(Drug-Related Mortality) "In 2008, 78 drug-induced deaths were observed in the Flemish region, which is the highest number observed since 2000. The standardised (European Standard Population) drug-induced mortality rates per 1000.000 inhabitants are shown in Figure 6.3, indicating that the mortality rates are generally higher in the Brussels Capital Region compared to the Flemish Region. These differences (although being not significant, except in 2007) are explained by differences in urbanisation degree, with the Brussels Capital Region being the more urbanized.