Syringe Exchange Data And Trends For The Netherlands, 2012

"• In Amsterdam, figures are available since 1990. After a steady increase until 1993 (1,082,880 syringes were exchanged in that year), the number of exchanged syringes declined and slightly fluctuates below 200,000 syringes per year since 2007 (146,000 in 2012) (source: M. Buster, GGD Amsterdam).
"• In Rotterdam, figures are available since 2000. The number of syringes ordered by the local distribution centres was reduced between 2000 and 2012 from 422,400 to 91,400 (source: R.A. Wolter, GGD Rotterdam). Data for 2011 are not available due to a change in the registration system. It is noteworthy that in Rotterdam during evening and nightly hours drug users can exchange needles and syringes at several police stations.
"• The decline during many years in the number of syringes exchanged can be explained by several factors: a reduction of injecting heroin users in general; a reduction of drug users, often injectors, from neighbouring countries; a reduced popularity of injecting resulting from experienced health problems, in combination with an increase in the use of crack; and mortality among injectors. It is assumed that the far majority of drug users in need of clean needles are being reached with the current efforts.
"• The municipal health service of Rotterdam also collects information on the distribution of other (clean) paraphernalia and condoms. In 2012, they distributed 25,000 condoms, 900 pocket containers (for needle and syringe disposal) and 10,550 stericups. Based on the assumption that the average drug users exchanges 10 syringes a week, this comes to a total of 176 injecting drug users reached (and probably present) in Rotterdam, a steady decline from the estimated 812 injecting drug users in 2000 (source: R.A. Wolter, GGD Rotterdam)."


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. 87.