By setting up and coordinating empirical research on a high methodological and theoretical level, the ISD is aiming to get a better understanding of the complexity of the use of pleasurable substances and drugs. The insider's view gets all the attention that it deserves and needs in order to get a reliable set of results and conclusions. The multi-disciplinary composition of the ISD and the cooperation of the Institute with different foreign departments and faculties result in activities that are set up from different disciplines: criminology, psychology, anthropology, social geography, philosophy, criminal law, history, ...

Symbiosis of criminology, social and cultural anthropology (ethnography) and epidemiology leads to exploratory research. The main point of the ISD research is the investigation of the use of drugs, the social epidemiological dimensions of the use of drugs, the traffic of drugs, the developments, evolutions and trends in the use of specific substances and the reactions within the society upon the use of drugs. At a later stage the expertise, the theories, the research methods and research techniques are presented to interested persons by the organisation of ISD-lectures, guest lectures and workshops but the results are also presented to local, national and international organisations in the field of drug research in order to give them scientific background, advice and help.

Current Projects

Harmful corporate practices: A case study of the emerging legal cannabis industry (2018-2025)

The market and profit analysis of the illicit indoor cannabis cultivation and trade (MARCANT) (2020-2024)

DrugInt: Substance use interventions for applicants for international protection (2023-2025)

Substance use recovery and social recovery capital among refugees (2023-2028)

Finished Projects

MATREMI – Mapping and enhancing substance use treatment for migrants & ethnic minorities (2019)

The symbolic crusade of policing drugs. On the legitimacy to criminalize drugs and the self-legitimacy of ‘drug detectives’. (2019-2021)

Out of business or business as usual? Illicit cannabis suppliers in a legalized cannabis market (2020-2023)

ACCESS - Equitable substance use treatment for Migrants and ethnic minorities: a policy analysis (2018-2022)

Youth perceptions on recreational or non-medical use of psychoactive medications (YOUTH-PUMED) (2020-2021)

Cannabis Social Clubs’ presence, ties, and practices within the European Union (2019-2021)

Self-reported medicinal cannabis use in Flanders. A study of user profiles and patterns of use (2015-2019)

Assessment of alternative models of regulation of alcohol marketing in Belgium (2016-2018)

Comparative analysis of cannabis regulation models in Europe (2017)

Cannabis self regulation in a harm reduction perspective (2017)

Informal control mechanisms among cocaine and crack users (1996 - 1999)

Patterns of cannabis use in Flanders (2002 - 2003)

Drugs and nuisance (2002 - 2003)

The development of patterns of cocaine use (2002 - 2004)

Problematic drug use (2003 - 2004)

Implementation and evaluation of the Self-Control Information Programme (2002 - 2004)

Safe injection facility in Antwerp (2004)

Synthetic drugs (2003 - 2004)

Cocaine and amphetamine type stimulants within the European prison systems (2005 - 2006)

Cannabis cultivation in Flanders (2004 - 2006)

Treatment trajectories of ethnic minorities in substance abuse treatment (2006 - 2007)

Development of a drug and alcohol monitor (ADAM) (2007)

Drug use among (Iranian) refugees in Belgium (2005 - 2007)

Feasibility of a repetitive prevalence study among the general population (2007-2008)

Genderanalysis drug use among women (2004 - 2009)

Antwerp Monitor Youth, Alcohol and Drugs (AMYAD) (2009)

Antwerp Drug and Alcohol Monitor (ADAM II) (2010)

Follow-up study cocaine (2008 - 2010)

Prisoner culture, drug use and drug traffic within a Flemish prison (2009-2011)

Drug use among female sex workers in Belgium (2008-2011)

Antwerp Monitor Youth, Alcohol and Drugs (AMYAD II) (2011)

Local Retail Drug market in Antwerp  (LODA) (2012)

Cannabis production in Belgium: assessment of the nature and harms, and implications for priority setting (CANMARKT) (2012-2013)

Needs assessment harm reduction in the city of Ghent (2013-2014)

Cannabis social clubs (CSC's) in Belgium (2014-2015)

The intersection between science and policy: the role of epidemiology in national drug policy in Belgium (2009 - 2015)

Drug Monitor Turnhout (2015-2016)

Patterns of drug use among (ethnic and cultural) minorities (PADUMI) (2015-2016)

Social supply among young cannabis users (2012-2015)

Youth justice discourses on young people with migration background (2010-2016)

(Il)licit drugs and social media: framing and agenda-setting through Twitter (2016-2017)

Feasibility study on drug consumption rooms in Belgium (2017)

Cannabis Social Clubs in Belgium: a study of the organization of collective cannabis cultivation for personal use and characteristics of club members (2015-2018)