BRUSSELS - 1 in 10 Belgians uses heavy painkillers such as oxycodone, tramadol and fentanyl. Effective painkillers, but with a high addiction risk: about 8% of everyone who comes into contact with opioid painkillers becomes dependent on them. The longer you use, the higher the risk. Research journalists Laura Dhaese and Marie Borremans focus on the patient's perspective: how do you get rid of an addiction to painkillers and what kind of care can you get?

Because if you are addicted, where can you go? The study shows that people with an addiction to painkillers hardly ever get through to the right care. General health care pays little attention to addiction and specific addiction care focuses mainly on users of illegal substances. In addition, addiction to opioid painkillers has all the characteristics to remain hidden. In conversations with pain doctors, addiction experts, general practitioners and especially experience experts themselves, we show where the pain points are and search for solutions for a better pain killer policy in Belgium.

Laura Dhaese

Laura Dhaese is a Belgian investigative journalist.

Marie Borremans

Marie Borremans is an investigative journalist, writer and audio-maker.
€ 650 allocated on 16/12/2019.
Fonds Pascal Decroos


Verslaafd aan pijnstillers, De Standaard, 13/11/2021.