Many drug addicts live in precarious social and economic conditions, which oftentimes forces them to use on the street , Source: Randy Laybourne / Unsplash

Charleroi working on a mobile ‘room’ where addicts can use hard drugs safely

Charleroi working on a mobile ‘room’ where addicts can use hard drugs safely

The low-risk consumption rooms are aimed at offering drug users a safer alternative away from unsanitary public spaces

In 2024, the Belgian city of Charleroi will launch its first so-called low-risk consumption room – a space where hard drug users can consume safely with sterile equipment. The project is the result of a partnership between the city and an NGO aimed at helping drug addicts called "Le Comptoir".

This will be the third facility of its kind in Belgium, following similar initiatives in Liege and Brussels. What is unique here is that the facility will be mobile, so it can reach users in more remote parts of the city. Additionally, the project is a collaboration with the local public prosecutor’s office, to avoid legal violations of the initiative.

The mobile low-risk consumption room should be on the streets of Charleroi in 2024 and is set to cost the local government about 500,000 euros.  

Laurence Przylucki, a spokeswoman for Charleroi’s Public Centre for Social Welfare was quoted by the RTBF explaining that staff in similar facilities were liable for drug trafficking charges while doing social work. With new developments, now they will have the chance to go further in doing their jobs.

Not a place to promote drug use

According to authorities, the low-risk consumption room is not aimed at promoting drug use. Instead, it offers drug users a chance for privacy and helps to reduce the risk of overdoses.

Przylucki explained that many drug users are in very precarious social and economic conditions and some are living on the streets of Charleroi, similar to most European cities. Oftentimes, this forces them to use drugs directly on the streets in dubious sanitary conditions.

The low-risk consumption room wants to offer drug users a way to use in a safe and sanitary environment. Additionally, staff will not provide addicts with a ‘clean’ product, like other similar initiatives but will offer to test the quality of substances brought in by users.

Moreover, the space will allow a safe and dignified environment and prevent overdoses, while also protecting public spaces.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU