Waste water analysis reveals Dutch drug secrets in EU survey

People in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven are major users of drugs when compared to other European cities, according to a new analysis of waste water by the EU’s drugs agency Emcdda.

The agency analysed waste water in 42 cities in 21 countries looking for drug residues.

The three Dutch cities occupied first, second and third place in terms of the use of party drug ecstasy and ‘abnormal amounts’ were identified in Eindhoven’s waste water, news agency ANP said.

This may be explained by the fact the production of ecstasy is concentrated in the region and that chemicals are dumped into the drains, the organisation said.

The quantity of amphetamine found in Eindhoven water was also extremely high.


In terms of cannabis use, Amsterdam comes in second place, behind Novia Sad in Serbia. Eindhoven is seventh and Utrecht 13th.

Researcher Pim de Voogt told news agency ANP waste water analysis may be more reliable than questionnaires because people do not give the ‘socially desirable answer’.

The European research suggests just 3.1% of the Dutch under-35s have taken ecstasy over the past 12 months and 13.7% have used cannabis. Only the Czech Republic had a higher percentage of reported cannabis users, ANP reported

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