Crystal meth use on the rise in Netherlands

Crystal Meth rock (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Psychonaught ). (Crystal Meth rock (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Psychonaught ))

Crystal meth is becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands, especially among homosexuals. The drug is getting cheaper, and with the falling price, the use increases.

This is according to a study done by foundation Mainline and Soa Aids Nederland, NRC reports.

Since 2011 experts in the filed have been getting more and more questions about the drug. The number of incidents with methamphetamine is also increasing. Multiple meth users ended up in the emergency room in 2013 and 2014.

So called "slammers" - people who inject the drug - in particular are at risk of a trip to the hospital. "The transmission of HIV and hepatitis C is lurking", said Loek Elseburg, former HIV counselor at the VU Medical Center. "The slammers often use fewer protective measures."

Due to the growing demand, the supply of the drug is increasing significantly and the price is dropping, said Leon Knoops of Mainline. According to him, this is dangerous. "If it gets cheaper, it can spread to other parts of the population." He points out that drugs like ecstasy and GHB also started out in the gay scene and then spread.

The researchers would not estimate on the total current size of meth-use in the Netherlands.