Dutch News

1 November 2014

European research shows that the Netherlands belongs to the top in the EU in the production, trade and consumption of XTC.  The use of XTC by young grownups  is the highest in Europe. Lately the XTC pills seem to be more pure and heavier. Nurses express their concerns about under estimating and trivialize the dangers of XTC use. A road map should prevent personal and social harm.

According to a specialist the reason for this top position is that it is quite easy for a consumer to purchase XTC. They are close to the source, since the Netherland and Belgium are the most important producers of XTC in Europe. 6.2% of the Dutch adults has at least taken an XTC pill once. Only the UK and Ireland have higher scores. In 2012 2,4 million XTC-pills were seized. The production might have been increased since 42 XTX laboratories were dismantled, almost twice as much as in 2011.


Even though XTC is already around since the mid-nineties from the last century, the popularity of XTC has grown over the last period.  Using XTC pills has become pretty accepted and normal. After the three Amsterdam Dance Event visitors died after using XTC some ask for a more restrictive approach, but the Dutch authorities decided to leave the individual users. In the famous harm-reduction approach the limitation of the risks are most important. The policy is to stay in touch with the users and informing them about the risks. At parties there is always a first-aid station to help people that got sick from drugs.


Till 2002 it was possible to test synthetic drugs at parties, but now this is not allowed anymore. Users have to go to one of the 23 laboratories in the Netherlands. But the problem is that the tests only show what there is in the pill, but not how much. Lately the XTC pills seem to be more pure and heavier. But there are also pills on the market with substances that are close to XTC, but much stronger. These pill already lead to damage to the organs of the user.


Two nurses working at the intensive care department of a Dutch hospital express their concerns about the rise in XTC use in the Netherlands. In earlier years there were great concerns about heroin users since they caused criminality and annoyance, but the XTC users are usually well-educated and not such heavy users. The nurses want the Dutch to stop under estimating and trivialize the dangers of XTC use, so there will be no XTC deaths and a lot less users ending up at the intensive care with failing organs, extreme fever, disrupted breathing and blood circulation. All involved should cooperate in creating a road map that should prevent personal and social harm on the long run.





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