Netherlands

Statistics and other data regarding drugs and drug policies in the Netherlands, covering all areas including public safety/criminal justice, public health, harm reduction, treatment, and prevention.

Physician and Patient Attitudes Toward Medical Cannabis in The Netherlands

"Recently, a survey performed on 200 patients who were using medicinal cannabis during the first months after its introduction in the Netherlands was published.49 The survey showed that most of the respondents had previous experiences with cannabis use for medicinal purposes or with synthetic cannabinoids such as dronabinol, whereas a minority of 40% were “new” users. Most patients were satisfied using medicinal cannabis; only 10% of patients reported moderate to more severe transitory adverse effects.

Drug Use Prevalence in The Netherlands

"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.

Physician Acceptance of Medical Cannabis in the Netherlands

"According to a survey of 400 physicians, both general practitioners and specialists in the Netherlands, which was performed just before the legal introduction of medicinal cannabis, only 6% said that they were under no condition willing to prescribe medicinal cannabis, while 60% to 70% regarded medicinal cannabis sufficiently socially accepted and would prescribe it if asked for by a patient.46"

Discouraging Drug Tourism and Nuisance in The Netherlands

"In the city of Venlo (province of Limburg), on the Dutch-German border, the Hektor Project to combat drug-related crime and nuisance at the local level, started in 2001 and was extended several times, first by a combined contribution of the central and municipal government, but since 2010 Hektor is only financed by the local government. Its purpose was to diminish public nuisance mostly caused by German drug tourists. The project operated on three levels.

Separating the Market for Illicit Drugs

The Netherlands follows a policy of separating the market for illicit drugs. Cannabis is primarily purchased through coffee shops. Coffee shops offer no or few possibilities for purchasing illicit drugs other than cannabis. Thus The Netherlands achieve a separation of the soft drug market from the hard drugs market - and separation of the 'acceptable risk' drug user from the 'unacceptable risk' drug user.

Cannabis Use in the Netherlands

Cannabis Use in the Netherlands: "The figures for cannabis use among the general population reveal the same pictures. The Netherlands does not differ greatly from other European countries. In contrast, a comparison with the US shows a striking difference in this area: 32.9% of Americans aged 12 and above have experience with cannabis and 5.1% have used in the past month. These figures are twice as high as those in the Netherlands."

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