National Drug Monitor
The annual National Drug Monitor contains all the information available on the use of drugs and drug-related crime in the Netherlands. The monitor shows that alcohol and tobacco are still the widest used drugs, although the use of xtc and other party drugs is increasing steadily. Apart from alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is the most frequently used drug in the Netherlands.
The use of party drugs such as xtc and GHB among youngsters appeared to increase over the past few years. At any rate, youngsters seem to regard the use of drugs as normal. The increase in the average dose of MDMA, the active substance in xtc, entails higher risks, especially because youngsters do not adapt their use. This has already resulted in a growing number of serious incidents, for instance during the Amsterdam Dance Event. The Cabinet no longer wants youngsters to take drug use for granted. That is why the dissemination of information to users about the risks has to be improved.
Preventing the use of drugs is a key element of the Dutch policy on drugs. The Cabinet identifies a number of key allies in the prevention of the use of drugs: schools, party organizers, addiction care professionals and parents. The Cabinet finds it important that parents talk to their children about the use of drugs. This is supported by the Trimbos institute, a national institute of mental health and addiction in the Netherlands, which has published information for parents about xtc. Moreover, a website will be launched: uwkindenuitgaan.nl (your child and going out).