Drug Prevention Across Belgium


The Belgium’s Say No To Drugs (SNTD.Be) Team of volunteers, to counteract the strong expansion of the street drug go in direct contact with the youth and the population at large, bringing to them the right data about the harming drug use. Their tools: The series of booklets The Truth About Drugs, a Documentary DVD and even a Guide for Educators, they distribute freely.

First, on 18 May 12 volunteers of the association, wearing their characteristic turquoise tee-shirts, went in Ghent(Gent, Gand) a town with a beautiful Middle Age architecture and currently also a university town. There, the team broadly distributed their booklets to the passers-by who welcomed their action.
-In the afternoon, 16 of them were found in the West Flanders on the promenade pier of Oostende (Ostende) on the Belgian coast on the North Sea having an historical strategic position since the 15th century. Not only informative booklets were distributed but fruitful contacts were established with the population.

On 19 May, similarly, they shared the day first part in Antwerp (Antwerpen, Anvers) currently the second largest seaport in Europe, in Flanders. An historical town, nowadays Antwerp is famous among others, for his chemical and diamond industries, but is also considered as a hub for drugs transit into Europe. In Antwerp, the volunteers had the opportunity to distribute their booklets at a crossing point on the Meir, the main shopping street, and to exchange with people on the health harming effects of drugs.

-In the afternoon, they went to Mechelen (Malines). Established since the Gallo-Roman period, became in 1559 the Archidiocese of Mechelen, with the St Rumbolt’s cathedral. The town houses also the Kazern Dossin Memorial and the Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights, and the Ommegang Parade (part of UNESCO Heritage of Humanity), and one of the oldest breweries in Belgium, and the famous Belgian Sheepdog “malinois”.
In addition to the distribution a teacher was interested to have a lecture made to his students and a person from Social Services wanted to have more data on drugs, she could use.
On these two days some 2400 booklets The Truth About Drugs were distributed.

On May 20th the SNTD.Be Team went in the capital of the European Union: Brussels (Brussel, Bruxelles) also the capital of Belgium, composed by 19 Communes. Brussels is an other historical place with its Grote Market (UNESCO World Heritage site), the Royal Palace, the Manneken Pis, the Atomium (1958 Fair), many museums, places… The Team of 10 volunteers were very active in the Rue Neuve, (the main shopping street), then went in the Commune of Molenbeek in Chaussée de Gand, and their number was now of 26 volunteers. Finally they ended up on the Place Poelaert near the huge Palace of Justice. This day they distributed no less than 3100 booklets.

May 23rd, the Team is back in Brussels at Porte de Namur, another busy area. The purpose was to have the viewpoints of people about the growing drug problems. Unexpected comments were obtained from adults and youngsters on this drug subject extending from the man smoking cannabis joints without knowing what cannabis is to the students who wanted to have science-based data to use in discussion with other friends.

The May 29th the volunteers are putting their booth on the Annual Pentecost Market of Zemst, a municipality located in the Flemish Brabant. The most relevant contacts done were with: a psychologist using our material (gotten in 2016) to do lectures, a teacher visiting the Market who was still using the booklets she found 3 years ago on this same market to educate his class on the harming effects of drug use, another teacher who wants to use them in class, and a father whose son is taking drugs was properly advised and oriented.
A total of 825 booklets, 2 DVDs, 14 Booklet Sets and 1 Educator Guide were distributed. Also 60 people signed the Pledge for a Drug-Free Life. The Cannabis and Alcohol Simulation Glasses were as usual very successful among the public and youth.

To end this busy month of May and start the new one, on June 4th the SNTD.Be Team attended the Prevention Day organized by the Youth Department of the municipality of Grâce-Hollogne, in Wallonia (Province of Liège). Were also participating, the police -with a spinning car- very concerned by the drivers under psychoactive substances, the Red Cross, an Army booth, and of course a lot of visitors, youngsters and parents. Many tested the simulation glasses and many signed the Pledge for a Drug-Free Life. And this made the organizers very happy and all liked the prevention materials provided by the SNTD.Be Team!                But, we cannot conclude without reminding the memorial erected in memory of the 2 young girls, innocent victims of the human aberration. And drug use is part of it!

Get more on drug prevention actions in Belgium through:
www.ditesnonaladrogue.be                                                                                    Contact:  info@ditesnonaladrogue.be

Thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to share the information on drugs

Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe was formed in March 2004 with the firm purpose of preventing and stopping debilitating drug use through educating non-users concerning the harmful effects that drugs can inflict upon the body, mind and personality, and by finding and directing existing users to programmes that can help them achieve comfortable abstinence for life.

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