Dutch police chief wants to get rid of party drugs' 'normal' image

National Police Chief Erik Akerboom thinks that the use of drugs in the entertainment circuit has become too normalized and he wants to get rid of the "normal image" of this type of consumption, he said at an international police summit in Rotterdam on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.

Drug fighters from 120 countries are gathered in Rotterdam to learn from each other and make agreements on an international approach to fighting drug trafficking and production.

"You see a lot of people in their twenties and thirties who are very healthy during the week with yoga, smoothies and fitness", Akerboom said at the summit. "But on the weekend they take cocaine and pills. In this way drug use is normalized and even romanticized. We have to get rid of that image."

Akerboom believes that these party drug users don't realize that they are maintaining a system that is characterized by extreme violence. The number of drug related deaths increased considerably over the past years, he added. Akerboom wants to further international and European cooperation when it comes to combating drug trafficking.

Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security shares Akerboom's concerns. "An economy of drugs has emerge with an undermining effect on all aspects of our society", he said on Tuesday, according to the newspaper. "This economy of drugs is threatening our legal economy. But it also threatens our sense of norms, our morals our safety."

Grapperhaus called it disgusting that some users associate drugs with a 'happy time', according to the newspaper. "I do not accept that acceptance", he said. "Behind a pill or 'line' is a world of brutal crime, assassination, money laundering, corruption, fraud and environmental crime. Drugs are the foundation of an undermining system, and the acceptance of drugs lowers the threshold to maintain that system."