Tuesday 26 May 2020

Ketamine seizures at Dutch ports hit 800 kilos in 2018

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The amount of the drug ketamine found by Dutch customs officers has soared from 2.6 kilos in 2016 to 800 kilos last year, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Ketamine, developed for pain relief and sedation, is increasingly popular as a party drug. Because it is still used in hospitals, it does not fall under the opium laws and, one trader told NOS, is seen as a relatively safe drug to traffic.

‘It comes into the country via Rotterdam and Antwerp ports but is not only destined for the Dutch market,’ the source said. ‘Like with other drugs, we are an important transit country.’

Earlier this year, the Trimbos institute said ketamine is becoming increasingly popular under clubbers in the Netherlands.

Although just 1.1% adults say they have used ketamine at some point in their lives, 17.3% of clubbers say they have done so, and 12.3% said they had used it at least once in the previous year, the research showed.

In 2009, ketamine was involved in almost 3% of drugs cases referred for medical help, but that had risen to over 8% by 2017, the institute said.

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