Drug Use Prevalence in The Netherlands

Basic Data

Prevalence and Trends

"The most recent survey on drug use in the general population was conducted in 2009. However, due to methodological changes, the data are not comparable with those of previous surveys (1997, 2001 and 2005). Hence, recent trends cannot be described. In 2009 last year prevalence of cannabis use in the population of 15-64 years was 7.0% and last month prevalence was 4.2%. Almost one-third (30%) of the last month users had used cannabis daily or almost daily in the past month. The percentage of recent users of cocaine and ecstasy was almost the same (1.2% and 1.4%, respectively). Amphetamine remained least popular with 0.4% recent users.
"Cannabis use among pupils (12-16 years) from regular secondary schools showed a decreasing trend between 2001 and 2009. In 2009, 9% of the pupils had used cannabis in the past year against 14% in 2001. Four in ten recent users had used only once in the past year, and a minority was a frequent blower (40 times or more).
"Prevalence rates of drug use are appreciably higher in (local) studies among various subpopulations, including pubgoers and nightlifers (cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine), neighbourhood and hang-around youth (cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine) and men who have sex with men (ecstasy, cocaine, GHB). However, no higher levels but even lower levels of drug use (cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine) were found among first-year students.
"Various indicators strongly point at an increase in the (problem) use of GHB in some subpopulations both in and outside the nightlife scene. In 2009, 0.4% of the population between 15 and 64 years had used GHB and 0.2% reported use in the past month. These figures are comparable to those of amphetamine but much lower compared to ecstasy and cocaine. Higher percentages of GHB users are found among populations in the nightlife scene, although GHB is not by definition a club drug and use at home is also commonly reported."


Van Laar, Margriet, et al., (2012). The Netherlands drug situation 2011: report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. (Utrecht: Trimbos Institute, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), pp. 11-12.