Alarm over rising cocaine, marijuana use

22nd March 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 March 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Cocaine use is increasing sharply in the Netherlands, and is particularly popular both among heroin addicts and young people, Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst said on Monday.

22 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — Cocaine use is increasing sharply in the Netherlands, and is particularly popular both among heroin addicts and young people, Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst said on Monday.

In unveiling the findings of the 2003 National Drugs Monitor, the minister said 70 to 90 percent of heroin addicts are also users of crack, the smokeable form cocaine. He also said the nation's youths are increasingly opting to snort cocaine.

The report indicates that the use of cocaine has been rising in popularity for several years, but the minister said it was alarming that the increase was continuing, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

He also said health workers were also increasingly treating cocaine smokers and people who snort it and that more people are dying from the drug.

Besides the use of cocaine, the rising popularity of marijuana or hash and the increasing number of cannabis users who are seeking medical help has also sparked concerns.

Meanwhile, an Amsterdam trial with using sniffer dogs on city streets succeeded on Thursday 18 March in identifying 14 people carrying drugs, six of whom were carrying a large quantity of drugs, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

The Public Prosecution (OM) has authorised the use of the dogs in city areas known for high drug abuse levels. The Amsterdam police said on Monday they intend to continue using the dogs in the war against drugs.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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