Anonymous Drug Purity Testing and Analysis in The Netherlands, 2011
"Twenty years ago the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport (VWS) founded the Drugs Information and Monitoring System (DIMS). The DIMS explores the chemical content of drugs, the health risks, and monitors trends. The drugs are collected by means of those users who bring their drugs for control to an organisation affiliated with the DIMS. These organisations have weekly office hours. This method of collecting drugs brings along the possibility to exchange information between the personnel at the testing facilities and the users. The user is informed about the composition of the delivered drugs and is warned about the risks. The data that are collected this way are used for education, prevention, and drug policy. Next to this, the data are used to inform the network of organisations participating in the DIMS.
"Acute health risks for users can occur, for example in case extra harmful substances are detected in the drugs. In case of such acute health risks, the DIMS will start a national or a regional warning campaign, a Red Alert. In 2011, the DIMS warned two times at a national level. The first national warning targeted the risks of using ecstasy pills contaminated with PMMA [Para-Methoxymethamphetamine], and the second national warning targeted pills with a high dose of MDMA. During the first six months of 2012, about 4,000 people visited the consulting hours of the DIMS-facilities, about 160 people every week. In total 4,421 samples were delivered, about 176 samples weekly (DIMS 2012) (see also § 10.3).
"At the request of the present Cabinet, the DIMS has increased its tasks with regard to the "Reporting Desk New Drugs" (Meldpunt Nieuwe Drugs, MND). The MND monitors the new psychoactive drugs which appear frequently on the market, like mephedrone, 4-MEC, or MDPV. These new drugs raise questions about who are the users and about the (health) risks. At a special website (www.meldpuntnd.nl/) the users can report new drugs anonymously and eventually can describe their experiences with these drugs."
Van Laar, M.W., Cruts, A.A.N., Van Ooyen-Houben, M.M.J., Van Gageldonk, A., Croes, E.A., Meijer, R.F., et al. (2013). The Netherlands drug situation 2012: report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. Trimbos-instituut/WODC, Utrecht/Den Haag, p. 54.