Antwerp Monitor Youth, Alcohol and Drugs (AMYAD II)

Research Period

1 January 2011 - 31 December 2011


Stad Antwerpen - SODA



Key Words

local, monitoring, qualitative


The second execution of AMJAD is built on the foundation created by ADAM I in 2007 and AMJAD I in 2009. This monitoring system wants to meet the lack of reliable and relevant data on a local level for the purpose of an evidence-based local drug policy.


The monitoring system wants to collect long-term data related to drug use in a systematic and consistent way. Hereby the monitor focuses on users who are (at least partly) hidden from existing registrational police systems, justice or drug treatment agencies. The attention is focused on the insider’s view: the monitor wants to expose the characterization of drug use and detect the possible problems or needs drug users are facing. This can provide the local Antwerp policy with data to estimate the prevalence of drug use and drug misuse. These data can unfold developments and trends, identify high-risk groups and risk factors and describe relations between patterns of drug use and the use of assistance/help on the one hand and the need for assistance/help on the other hand. If the monitor is executed on a regular basis, it will be possible to produce comparable information about particular target groups over a period of time. In this way an evidence-based local policy regarding prevention, harm reduction, assistance and safety remains possible. A permanent monitor also permits the follow-up of the effectiveness and analysis of the (un)intended effects of policy decisions on a local level.


We distinguish ‘youth of the streets’ (i.e. youngsters who live on the streets and are exposed to prostitution and unsafe drug use) and ‘youth on the streets’ (i.e. youngsters who hang around in public spaces frequently). Furthermore, we focus on ‘hardcore youngsters’ and truants. Finally, we discuss the perception of these youngsters on drug education. To gather information about drug use among youngsters, the Antwerp Monitor Youth, Alcohol and Drugs (AMYAD) consists of qualitative methods: in-depth interviews with key informants, ethnographic fieldwork,... This methodology is based on an analysis of national and international literature concerning youth drug monitoring systems. By means of qualitative methods the youth monitor is intended to produce useful information on the nature and patterns of use among young drug users, current developments and trends, the accessibility and appraisal of local treatment and the presence of risk groups or risk factors.

To gather information about these 'hidden populations', the local monitor consists of three qualitative parts: mobilization of 4 community fieldworkers, in-depth interviews with 40 key informants and ethnographic fieldwork. This methodology is based on an analysis of national and international literature concerning drug monitoring systems.


  • DECORTE, T. & NACHTERGAELE, C. (2012). Antwerpse Monitor Jongeren, Alcohol en Drugs. Resultaten 2011. Antwerpen: Stad Antwerpen. (Final report)
  • DECORTE, T. (2012), Toelichting resultaten Antwerpse Monitor Jongeren, Alcohol en Drugs II. Presentation at the SODA-forum ‘Generation Y not. Druggebruik bij maatschappelijk kwetsbare jongeren’, Antwerpen, 16 mei 2012.