Heroin Assisted Treatment

Results of the drug policy

Criminal investigations into more serious forms of organized crime mainly involve drugs (72%). Most of these are investigations of hard drug crime (specifically cocaine and synthetic drugs) although the number of soft drug cases is rising and currently accounts for 69% of criminal investigations.[32]


In a study of the levels of cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine and other amphetamine in wastewater from 42 major cities in Europe Amsterdam came near the top of the list in every category but methamphetamine.[33]

The Netherlands tolerates the sale of soft drugs in ‘coffee shops’. A coffee shop is an establishment where cannabis may be sold subject to certain strict conditions, but no alcoholic drinks may be sold or consumed. The Dutch government does not prosecute members of the public for possession or use of small quantities of soft drugs.[34]


In the province of North-Brabant in the south of the Netherlands, the organized crime organizations form the main producer of MDMA, amphetamine and cannabis in Europe. Together with the proximity of the ports of Antwerp and especially Rotterdam where heroin and cocaine enter the European continent, this causes these substances to be readily available for a relative low price. Therefore, there is a large quantity drugs of a relative high quality with few pollution available. This means that users will not have to rely on more polluted substances with greater health risks. Together with an approach that focuses on easily accessible health care, harm reduction and prevention, this causes the medical condition of the Dutch addicts to be less severe than that of many other countries.[35]