Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Belgium

Addiction is a disease that can affect any of us, regardless of our background, culture, sex or economic status.

Given the popularity of drinking in many cultures across the world and its well-documented impact upon health, alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent and dangerous addictions in the world today.

If you are living in Belgium and looking for a drug or alcohol rehab to help you beat addiction, we are here to help.

Defining Alcohol Addiction

Symptoms of addiction

There are multiple ways we can help you identify whether you are suffering from addiction, or are displaying negative and damaging behaviours associated with addiction and dependency.

The DMS-5 purports a definition for both substance dependency and substance addiction, which can help you identify the symptoms in your own behaviour.

Substance dependency is defined by a pattern of substance use, resulting in distress and impairment, both to a significant level.

Woman exhausted

Substance dependency is characterised by two main symptoms:

  1. Increased tolerance to the substance: Once you start using a substance like drugs or alcohol regularly, your body and mind become accustomed to the new levels of euphoria. Once this is regulated, your body will require more of the substance, and more often, in order to get the desired effect it used to have.
  2. Severe withdrawals, once the substance has worn off: Once you are coming down off a drug, or are trying to quit using, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as shaking and anxiety. These symptoms affect users both physically and mentally. This is accompanied by persistence to use, or a failure to stop or cut down.

Substance abuse is the recurrent use of substances, to the point that the user is unable to fulfil their regular obligations and responsibilities, such as work and family time.

This difference is critical, as rehabilitation in Belgium is shaped towards your needs.

To further understand what type of treatment you need in Belgium, you may find at-home questionnaires helpful in identifying negative patterns of behaviour.

Man with pen

The CAGE questionnaire is the most popular self-help questionnaire:

CAGE Questions for Alcohol Use:

  1. Have you ever felt you should CUT down your drinking?
  2. Have people ever ANNOYED you by critiquing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or GUILTY about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady nerves or in order to get rid of a hangover (EYE-OPENER)?

CAGE Questions Adapted to Include Drug Use (CAGE-AID)

  1. Have you ever felt you ought to CUT down on your drinking or drug use?
  2. Have people ANNOYED you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
  3. Have you felt bad or GUILTY about your drinking or drug use?
  4. Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (EYE-OPENER)?

This is scored on a yes or no basis, where a yes will give you 1 point.

If you finish each questionnaire with a score of 2 or more, this is deemed to be clinically significant.

Woman with laptop

In this case, you will be interested in a more developed questionnaire called an AUDIT.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a specific test for alcohol screening.

On completion of the first 4 questions, you may come out as FAST+ (fast positive).

If so, you are encouraged to continue answering the next subset of questions.

  1. How often have you had 6 or more units if female, or 8 or more if male, on a single occasion in the last year?
  2. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking?
  3. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
  4. Has a relative or friend, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

If you are fast+, complete the next subset of questions:

  1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
  2. How many units of alcohol do you drink on a typical day when you are drinking?
  3. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
  4. How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get going after a heavy drinking session?
  5. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
  6. Have you or somebody else been injured as a result of your drinking?

Woman support

Once you have been through questionnaires at home, you will have a clear idea regarding the nature of your addiction.

It is then important that you receive the right help – help that is specifically tailored towards you.

This can also include treatment for mental health, as mental health issues are often interrelated with addiction.

Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis in Belgium

Addiction brain

It has been long understood that addiction can exacerbate mental health, but mental health can also lead to addiction.

This is commonly known as co-morbidity, where two or more disorders co-exist in the same person at the same time.

This provides us with 3 possible hypotheses:

  1. There is a factor that both mental health and addiction share, that contributes to both. It has been vigorously researched that genetics can be a leading cause of both addiction and mental illness. This has been said to apply to over 50% of those vulnerable to substance abuse, as a direct result of inherited traits.
  2. Mental illness causes addiction.  Mental disorders can commonly lead to the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs, mainly due to self-medicating. For example, those with severe anxiety commonly use cannabis to relieve stress and anxiety. However, it is known that drugs make mental health worse.
  3. Addiction causes mental health issues. Using both alcohol and drugs dramatically alters the brain reward pathways, and damages different areas. Many side effects of drugs and alcohol cause mental illness. For example, it is commonly known that excessive alcohol intake causes depression and severe anxiety.

There is rehabilitation available in Belgium for those suffering from co-morbidity.

Support Group

Rehab is usually designed for those who suffer from mental health conditions, along with consuming 25 units of alcohol a day.

Rehab in Belgium is also suitable for:

  • Those who have suicidal thoughts, and suffer from severe mental illness.
  • Those who have tried and failed to cut down or stop using drugs or alcohol.
  • Those who become violent or dangerous when they consume.
  • Those who suffer from delirium tremens, or alcohol seizures.
  • Those who suffer from Wernicke’s encephalopathy.

Intervention: Pre-Rehabilitation

Group Therapy

If you realise your loved one in Belgium requires rehabilitation, the first step is intervention.

Intervention is defined as a change in course.

For drugs and alcohol, intervention prevents users from falling into complete addiction, and directs them towards getting help at a rehab centre in Belgium.

Family in field

CRAFT is the most popular type of intervention, short for Community Reinforcement And Family Training.

This common approach is non-confrontational – it is a contemporary ‘reward’ styled intervention for drugs and alcohol.

CRAFT is intended for the concerned others of the user, not specifically the user themselves.

With a dramatic focus on mental health and communication, CRAFT is proven to be highly effective, getting over 70% of those that try CRAFT into treatment.


This is done through positive reinforcement, altering the reward pathways in the user that have been damaged by the abuse of substances.

Concerned others are asked to positively reward pro-social and anti-using behaviour, whilst letting the negative consequences of using and addictive behaviour play out.

CRAFT has a variety of strategies:

  • People communicate in different ways, the best way to connect with others is to learn their ways of communication and learn how to make yours more effective.
  • Use positive reinforcement where the user is acting in a sociable manner, and not using.
  • Let the negative consequences of using and anti-social behaviour play out.
  • Educate yourself on the origins and impacts of your loved one’s addiction, as well as the different types of treatment available.
  • Become aware of the type of realistic goals for users, building up to long-term achievements.

Support groups

Once you have intervened, or considered intervention, it is imperative that the right treatment is chosen to match the nature of the addiction in question.

The criterion created by ASAM shapes treatment around a user’s score, relating to 6 given dimensions.

The 6 dimensions are scored from 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest risk level.

The higher the risk for a dimension, the more tailored the treatment is towards that aspect.

  • Dimension 1 – Acute intoxication and/or withdrawal: Is the user specifically susceptible to severe withdrawal symptoms?
  • Dimension 2 – Biomedical conditions and complications: Does the user have any underlying health conditions that could affect rehabilitation treatment?
  • Dimension 3 – Emotional, behavioural, or cognitive conditions and complications: Is the emotional state of the user well regulated?
  • Dimension 4 – Readiness to change: Does the user have sufficient motivation to change?
  • Dimension 5 – Relapse, continued use, or continued problem potential: Does the user seem vulnerable to relapse, or potential relapse?
  • Dimension 6 – Recovery/living environment: Is the user social, to the extent it may interfere with their rehabilitation treatment?

When these dimensions are scored 1-4, the clinician tailors the user’s treatment in Belgium towards a more personalised treatment plan.

Addiction Rehab In Belgium: Drug And Alcohol Treatment


There are two main classifications of drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Belgium, inpatient and outpatient.

For those who attend outpatient treatment centres in Belgium, you will remain living at home but will attend rehab for monitored medication, therapy and group support.

This is regularly offered through public health services, but inpatient treatment is not.

For inpatient treatment in Belgium, this costs more than outpatient, and so is not usually offered by public services.

Cost of rehab

Therefore, you are more than likely to be asked to pay for it yourself, but you can also set up a payment plan with the inpatient treatment centre.

The total cost can range from anywhere between 16,500 Euros and 95,000 Euros.

This cost covers the whole package for those living in the facility in Belgium, from rent, to utilities and staff training.

The stigma behind the price and exclusivity of inpatient treatment centres comes primarily from celebrity social media – this is rarely the case.

There are many affordable inpatient centres, and both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities have parallel success rates.

How long rehab

You are advised to spend a full month in rehabilitation, and there is a minimum threshold of 7 days.

The threshold remains at 1 week to allow for medical detox, specifically referred to as pharmacological intervention.

For outpatients, the cost of medication is around 10 Euros per prescription, but this is included in the price for inpatient patients.

However, this detox is only required for physically addictions, it is not required for substances that are psychologically addictive.


For example, heroin and alcohol are physically addictive, so require a detox, unlike cocaine and marijuana.

Librium is the most common pharmacological intervention for alcoholism.

Librium is a benzodiazepine, specifically designed to relieve the mental symptoms that come with alcohol withdrawals.

Medicated detox

Librium has a sedative effect, aiding to limit agitation.

As Librium is addictive, its administration is monitored over a 10-day period, reducing the dose over time.

Librium aids the damaged communications between brain transmitters that have been damaged through alcohol abuse, helping to balance and regulate brain activity.

Types Of Therapy On Offer In Belgium

Men talking

Following on from rehabilitation in Belgium, there are different types of therapy also on offer, such as the following:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Women talking

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most popular therapy for those struggling with co-morbidity.

Co-morbidity is where one person is suffering from 2 disorders, such as severe anxiety and addiction, both at the same time.

CBT originally started out as a counselling service for those with mental health issues in the late 1900s, but is now regularly used for addiction.

CBT is founded on the link between thoughts and behaviour, specifically how irrational thoughts lead to negative behaviour, leaving you trapped in a sequence of repetitive events.

CBT proves to its patients that it is possible to change negative patterns, once thoughts and feelings are understood.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Individual therapy

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT, but is primarily designed to help those who feel overwhelmed by their emotions.

The overall aim of DBT is to understand and accept challenging feelings, and to learn skills to manage them and make positive changes.

Motivational Interviewing

Support Group

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a counselling method, focused on motivation.

Motivational interviewing was developed to explore a clients ambivalence towards recovery and to aid in behavioural change.

MI is not defined by its techniques and method, but by its own spirit through facilitating relationships.

This guiding style of communication is a balance between listening and directing (advising).

Holistic Therapy

Man rock climbing

Holistic therapy is a treatment designed for the mind, body and spirit, also known as holistic psychotherapy.

Holistic therapy practices the balancing of physical and mental energy in the body.

The underlying foundation of holistic therapy is grounded in the idea that we cannot live a meaningful life without being connected in our entirety.

There are multiple different types of holistic therapy, such as:

  • Reflexology
  • Massage and Acupuncture Therapy
  • Equine Therapy
  • Music and Art Therapy
  • Adventure Therapy

Relapse Prevention And Aftercare In Belgium

Adventure Therapy

It is imperative that once rehabilitation is successful, users find a form of therapy and aftercare that suits their nature of addiction.

This helps breaks the chain of self-struggle, where group therapies such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous provide anonymous and constant support.

The AA consists of present and past alcoholics who group together to share their stories, compare their experiences and support each other,

This is famous, where it is known that they succeed through 12 steps:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Support network

Along with group support, it is important to bear in mind that it takes time to understand the nature of your own addiction, and what triggers your negative thoughts.

To avoid relapse in Belgium, think about the most common triggers of relapse:

  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Boredom and stress
  • Places
  • People
  • Specific emotions

You must then practice personal techniques to help avoid relapsing, such as:

  • Medication and self-care
  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Support groups
  • Being open and honest with friends and family
  • Grounding techniques

Getting Help Today

Person with phone

By admitting that you have an addiction, you have already taken the first step towards recovery.

The second step is to reach out for professional support.

At Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we will ensure that you find the right drug and alcohol rehab in Belgium for your unique requirements.

Once you take those first few steps, you’ve begun the journey towards a happier, healthier and longer life.

Featured Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Belgium

There are various types of rehab centres available in Drug & Alcohol Rehab in Belgium, including inpatient alcohol rehab, luxury alcohol rehab, and private drug rehabs.

Inpatient Rehab


Medical Detox