Eight Dutch towns are overhauling their strategies to tackle drugs abuse after using an analysis of waste water to find out more about what drugs their residents are actually taking, the NRC said on Wednesday.
In March, water analysis institute KWR checked the waste water in eight Utrecht towns and villages for cocaine, cannabis, mdma, amphetamines and methamphetamine over the period of a week. Among the findings: cocaine and cannabis are not as popular as in cities such as Amsterdam and Utrecht but speed is the drug of choice.
In Oudewater for example, described by the NRC as a closed community where drugs are not mentioned, speed is three times more popular than in nearby Utrecht, the researchers found.
That has been reason enough for local alderman Ad de Regt to draw up a ‘tough plan’ to tackle drugs abuse within the village.
Amphetamines are also popular in nearby Lopik, the survey showed. ‘Speed is farmers’ cocaine,’ Lopik alderman Johan van Everdingen told the NRC. ‘It is cheap and easy to get hold of. We are going to disrupt the market.’
The EU’s drugs agency also uses waste water analysis to look at drugs consumption throughout Europe.
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