Utrecht and Eindhoven party hard in the pandemic, but Amsterdam drug use dives

Turns out coronavirus is a real party-pooper — judging by the remnants of drug use in sewers, at least. Water research institute KWR says that the use of cocaine and ecstasy in Amsterdam declined spectacularly since the lockdown. 

We’re speculating that there could be a direct correlation between drug use and the number of British stag parties in the Dutch capital. Compared to the year prior, drug use in Amsterdam halved. Cocaine use also fell by a quarter. A global pandemic wasn’t enough to stop partiers in Utrecht and Eindhoven, however. Drug use in these areas remained largely unchanged, reports de Volkskrant.

The annual KWR study measures an indication of the drug use of 1.5 million people in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven, and smaller municipalities in Eindhoven. This year, the study coincidentally took place in the first week of lockdown. “This created the unique situation where we could measure the drug use of the population in the absence of an active nightlife and of tourists,” explains KWR researcher Thomas ter Laak.

Who stopped the party?

Coronavirus stopped the party! Well, the coronavirus lockdown stopped tourists coming to Amsterdam, says drug researcher Laura Smit-Rigter of the Trimbos Institute. ‘But the closure of clubs and cafes where many Dutch people come is also a cause. People hardly went out,” she explains.

However, Smit-Rigter believes that the lack of use may diminish soon as people begin to organize parties in smaller settings. This could also be why the use of coke and ecstasy in Utrecht remained stable during the lockdown.

What about weed?

If anything has remained normal, it’s smoking weed in the Netherlands. The sewer research shows that this use remained stable, probably because coffee shops were allowed to remain open. #NeverForget the lines outside the coffee shops when the government announced that nearly 600 coffee shops would close for the duration for the lockdown. #AlsoNeverForget that the government backed down on that after just one day, allowing coffee shops to reopen for takeaway only.

Are you surprised by the results of the tests? Tell us in the comments below!

Image: Maurício Mascaro/Pexels

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺https://gallivantations.com
Sam has over six years experience writing about life in the Netherlands and leads the content team at DutchReview. She originally came to the Netherlands to study in 2016 and now holds a BA (Hons.) in Arts, a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and (almost) a Masters in Teaching. She loves to write about settling into life in the Netherlands, her city of Utrecht, learning Dutch, and jobs in the Netherlands — and she still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike (she's learning!).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

Porn alert! Buses weren’t the only thing coming at this Dutch station

Travellers to Arnhem Centraal's bus terminal received a rather heavy load of unwanted imagery after an unknown entity shared porn clips on the station's...

Bidding wars and limited supply: Here’s why it’s even harder to buy a house in NL

Hoping to escaping skyrocketing rents by buying a house in the Netherlands? You may need to think again. 😬 In the first three months of...

Hybrid work in the Netherlands: 5 things to know

If you want more time with friends and family and less commuting, working from home some days could be just what you need. However,...

It's happening

Upcoming events

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.