It’s official: The Netherlands is STILL Europe’s drug capital

With the abundance of Dutch “coffeeshops”, it probably doesn’t come as a shock that the Netherlands is one of Europe’s drug capitals.

The wastewater of over 100 European cities was analysed in a study conducted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The results? Well, they are no surprise to us.

Dutch cities Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven were among the top 20 cities for levels of cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, and more.

EMCDDA and drugs in European wastewater

Wastewater samples from 104 European cities were collected and tested for traces of cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamine, methamphetamine and ketamine.

What was the main goal? To determine the use of the different drugs in each city.

All the drugs tested for were found in almost every European city that participated in the study. However, the amounts found in the wastewater did vary across the different cities in 2022. 

Helaas pindakaas, Dutch cities still had some of the highest values for five of the stimulant drugs. 

Amsterdam isn’t the cannabis drug capital?!

Claiming spots in the top five highest drug-consuming cities is (*drum roll please*) Amsterdam!

But, you might be surprised that Amsterdam isn’t Europe’s cannabis capital! Nee, that honour actually goes to the Swiss city, Geneva. 

READ MORE | Legal to cultivate cannabis? Amsterdam wants to give it a try

Amsterdam is, however, the drug capital for ecstasy…again. Yep, that’s right! In fact, ecstasy consumption seems to have increased between 2021 and 2022, from a daily average of 125 mg per 1,000 people to 182.32 mg.

Dutch cities and drugs

The study also found high concentrations of amphetamine and methamphetamine in Dutch cities.

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #56: Have a liberal attitude towards party drugs

Utrecht has the highest amphetamine consumption of the three Dutch cities, while Amsterdam has the highest of the other four drugs tested for in the country. 

Certain drugs, mainly cocaine and ecstasy, show higher traces during weekends, indicating that these are most likely consumed for recreational purposes. Dutchies are definitely partying up a storm!

How do you feel about the Netherlands being a drug capital? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Simone Jacobs
Simone Jacobs
Originally from South Africa, Simone is having fun navigating the Dutch language, steep stairs, and bicycles (which she still manages to fall off of with her short, non-Dutch legs). An animal lover at heart, Simone can typically be found under her (growing?) mound of cats, where she uses the opportunity to read, write, and watch video compilations of creatures.


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