Drug Consumption Rooms in The Netherlands, 2012

"The first formal drug consumption room in the Netherlands opened in 1994 and since the beginning of this century the number has rapidly increased. An inventory in 2010 among a network of infectious disease experts in all addiction care institutions in the Netherlands identified 37 drug consumption rooms, located in over 25 cities in the Netherlands (Havinga and Van der Poel 2012). In the last decade, due to several developments, the organisation of these locations and the population using them changed. A major impact has had the decrease in homeless drug users. The majority of them is now living in social housing projects, which has reduced drug use on the street and the associated nuisance, including that of drugs dealing. Another important factor has been the decrease in injecting drug use, which further reduced the population using the drug consumption rooms. While in 2003 the average number of visitors per drug consumption room was 36, this has decreased to 22 in 2010 (Havinga and Van der Poel 2012). Since 2010, the number of drug consumption rooms has further decreased, but there is no new overview of the current number. Personal communications point to a shift towards an organisation of the consumption rooms more based on security and less on medical support. An increasing number of consumption rooms have an entrance guarded by security personal behind a glass wall, with whom it is not easy to discuss medical problems. For further information on the organisation of drug consumption rooms: see our National Report 2012."


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, pp. 87-88.