Dutch ecstasy use four times more frequent than EU

Ecstasy use in the Netherlands is four times as high as in the other European Union countries - 2.5 percent of Dutch people sometimes use ecstasy, compared to the EU average of 0.6 percent.

This is according to a study done by Trimbos, Statistics Netherlands and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, better known as the RIVM, BNR reports. The study showed that the average Dutch drug user is a highly educated 20 year old man living in a city.

Ferry Goossens, researcher at the Trimbos Institute, noticed a number of factors that could contribute to the high recreational drug use in the Netherlands. Firstly, ecstasy is cheap and easy to obtain in the Netherlands, because it is a manufacturing country. Another contribution is the changing party life - with more and more festivals being held in the country.

According to Goossens, there is a relationship between dance festivals and the use of recreational drugs. "Compared to other events, ecstasy is used more at dance festivals", he said to BNR. He believes that it is necessary to know where drug use is concentrated, so that measures can be taken.

Last month State Secretary Martin van Rijn of Public Health launched a "celebrate safe" information campaign for the entertainment industry. This campaign is aimed as bringing the health risks related to drug use to the consumers attention. In addition to information, there are also first aid stations at festivals where people can go if they feel unwell.

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