Wouter Vanderplasschen

Wouter Vanderplasschen
Wouter Vanderplasschen

Wouter Vanderplasschen (PhD) is associate professor and head of the Department of Special Needs Education (Orthopedagogiek) at Ghent University (Belgium). He is a senior researcher in the field of substance abuse treatment and recovery. He was trained in special needs education at Ghent University and spent long-term research stays at the universities of Glasgow and Stirling (Scotland) and Sheffield Hallam University (England). His PhD-research focused on the implementation and evaluation of case management for drug users with multiple and complex problems. As a professor at Ghent University, he teaches a course on ‘Substance abuse : prevention and treatment’ and is the supervisor of a dozen of master and doctoral students around the themes of addiction, recovery, reintegration, and quality of care.

For the past 20 years, Wouter Vanderplasschen has studied the accessibility, effectiveness and quality of care in substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery in general. His core research interests are recovery, case management, treatment methods, vulnerable groups, therapeutic communities, continuity of care, quality of life and evaluation of treatment. He supervised several studies on the role of treatment, case management and psychosocial support in addiction recovery, resulting in several journal articles, books and monographs. Recently, he was involved in international studies on continuity of care in and after prison (‘My first 48 hours out’), recovery pathways of drug users in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK (REC-PATH) and recovery capital among substance users with a migration background.

Wouter Vanderplasschen has authored > 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journals about addiction, treatment and recovery. He also wrote several books and book publications and is a co-editor of the journal ‘Drugs : Education, Prevention, Policy’. He acts as a reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals and presented his research at several national and international alcohol and drug conferences.


Selected publications

Vanderplasschen, W., Rapp, R.C., Wolf, J., & Broekaert, E. (2004). The development and implementation of case management for substance use disorders in North America and Europe. Psychiatric Services, 55(8), 913-922.

De Maeyer, J., Vanderplasschen, W., & Broekaert, E. (2010). Quality of life among opiate-dependent individuals: A review of the literature. International Journal of Drug Policy, 21(5), 364-380.

De Maeyer, J., Vanderplasschen, W., Camfield, L., Vanheule, S., Sabbe, B., & Broekaert, E. (2011). A good quality of life under the influence of methadone: A qualitative study among opiate-dependent individuals. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 48, 1244-1257.

Vanderplasschen, W., Colpaert, K., Autrique, M., Rapp, R.C., Pearce, S., Broekaert, E. & Vandevelde, S. (2013). Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective. The Scientific World Journal, Article ID 427817.

Stevens, L., Verdejo-Garcia, A., Goudriaan, A., Roeyers, H., Dom, G. & Vanderplasschen, W. (2014). Impulsivity as a vulnerability factor for poor addiction treatment outcomes: A review of neurocognitive findings among individuals with substance use disorders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 47, 58-72.

Naert, J., Roose, R., Rapp, R.C., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2017). Continuity of care in youth services: a systematic review. Children and Youth Services Review, 75, 116-126.

Vanderplasschen, W. & Vander Laenen, F. (2017). Naar een herstelgerichte verslavingszorg: praktijk en beleid. Leuven: Acco.

Vanderplasschen, W., Rapp, R. C., De Maeyer, J., & Vandennoortgate, W. (2019). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of case management for substance use disorders: a recovery perspective. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 186.

Martinelli, T., Nagelhout, G., Bellaert, L., Best, D., Vanderplasschen, W., & van de Mheen, D. (2020). Comparing three stages of addiction recovery: Long-term recovery and its relation to housing problems, crime, occupation situation, and substance use. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

Best, D., Vanderplasschen, W., & Nisic, M. (2020). Measuring capital in active addiction and recovery: the development of the strengths and barriers recovery scale (SABRS). Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 15(40).


An overview of all publications can be found here.


Postal address:
Henri Dunantlaan 2
B-9000 Gent

Visiting address:
Henri Dunantlaan 1
Room 100.022
B-9000 Gent

Tel:   32 (0)9 331 03 13
Email: Wouter.Vanderplasschen@UGent.be