Drug-Related Mortality in The Netherlands, 2012

"Between 1996 and 2012, the total number of recorded drug-related deaths among residents fluctuated between a minimum of only 94 cases in 2010 and a maximum of 144 cases in 2001.
"Despite some fluctuations over the years, the total number of drug-related deaths in the Netherlands has remained relatively low. This might be explained by a low number of socially marginalized problem drug users, successful harm reduction measures among the problem drug users, and protective factors, such as the nationwide availability of methadone-maintenance treatment, heroin-assisted treatment, and a low rate of intravenous drug use.
"Opiates and cocaine
"Cases of 'opiates' and 'cocaine' refer to cases in which these substances were explicitly stated as the primary cause of death on the death certificate. From 1996 up to including 2001, opiate intoxications were the most common causes of drug-related death recorded among Dutch residents. In this period, the casualty rate fluctuated between 81 and 75 cases. In 2002, the number of opiate deaths decreased and reached about the same level as the number of acute cocaine deaths, which had slowly increased since the late nineties. Since 2003 these trends have diverged again and each year there were more opiates deaths than cocaine deaths. However, in 2012 the number of opiate cases (28) came close again to the number of cocaine cases (22).
"In 2012, there were only 3 cases that were coded to poisoning by psychostimulants (other than cocaine), compared to just four cases in 2009, two cases in 2008 and 2011, and only one case in 2007 and 2010. Whether these fatal intoxications concerned amphetamines, MDMA, or other psychostimulants is not known."


Van Laar M.W., Cruts G, Van Ooyen-Houben M., Croes E., Van der Pol P., Meijer, R., Ketelaars T., (2014). The Netherlands drug situation 2013: report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. Trimbos-instituut/WODC, Utrecht/Den Haag, p. 81.