Gemeentelijk Overleg Antwerpen (GOA) / Belgium

Peer involvement revival with municipal support

“At the end of the 1990s the first initiatives on harm reduction started in Antwerp that really involved drug users.  In our city the pioneer and main supporter of harm reduction has been, and is the Free Clinic, the main service provider organisation in town. They introduced the concepts of harm reduction and peer support and continuously hammered away on the fact that drug users must be at the front and centre of services and policies.

At the moment there is revival of peer involvement in our city.  Experienced people are now hired by the municipality to support services and to work on greater, genuine participation of people using drugs. This resulted in our current initiative Gebruikers Overleg Andtwerpen (GOA),