According to a study published this week, The Netherlands makes the top of the list for the highest rate of MDMA (aka x, xtc, ecstasy and molly) use. The study is the ‘largest wastewater based epidemiology study ever performed in terms of cities (120) and countries (37) involved and of the monitoring duration (2011–17).’ Scientists from around the world sampled wastewater for drug residue, which is said to be an increasingly popular method to track patterns in the global illicit drug market over the past decade.
Different places have different favourites as well. Results showed that overall drug use was most prevalent cities such as Antwerp, Amsterdam, Zurich, London, and Barcelona, while cities in Greece, Portugal, Finland, Poland, and Sweden had the lowest rates of drug residue in wastewater. I bet the latter drink instead, but that’s an uneducated guess. And there’s no denying that people do come to Amsterdam to do drugs despite any city marketing spin to the contrary.
Cocaine was most popular in London, Bristol, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, St Gallen, and Antwerp. While the Netherlands had the highest rates of MDMA use, the drug was also popular in Helsinki, Oslo, Brussels, Dortmund, Zagreb, Zurich, Geneva, and Barcelona.
Not only is the use of MDMA a public health issue, the amount of chemical dumping that apparently goes on in Noord-Brabant is terrible for the environment. Basically, anybody taking MDMA is also indirectly contributing to this problem. The study also states that MDMA use was big in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam.
More background on why the Netherlands is a drug hub:
‘The Netherlands is the cocaine hub of Europe’
Dutch cities do well as drug capitals
(Link: vice.com, Photo: DEA)