Waste water analysis shows cocaine use up in two Dutch cities

Photo: DEA
Photo: DEA

An analysis of waste water from 60 European cities has found a sharp increase in cocaine use in both Eindhoven and Utrecht but volumes are still well below leaders Antwerp, London and Zurich.

Eindhoven is far in the lead when it comes to weekly ecstasy use, and Utrecht is in fourth place, the report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction found.

Experts say Eindhoven’s dominance in the ecstasy rankings is most likely due to drugs manufacturers flushing residues into the drains. The south of the Netherlands is known as a centre for ecstasy manufacture.

Amsterdam, which led the cocaine rankings last year, does not feature in the new report because the Dutch capital’s figures have not been fully analysed.

In March, the NRC reported that eight Dutch towns are overhauling their strategies to tackle drug abuse after using an analysis of waste water to find out more about what drugs their residents are actually taking.

Water analysis institute KWR checked the waste water in eight towns and villages in the province of Utrecht 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.

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