An analysis of the costs of dismantling and cleaning up synthetic drug production sites in Belgium and the Netherlands


The production of synthetic drugs, measured by the number of manufacturing sites identified and the amount of drugs seized, shows an increasing trend. In the Netherlands, Schoenmakers and Mehlbaum (2017) recorded a rise in the number of sites used for the dumping of toxic waste from synthetic drugs manufacture, from 35 in 2010 to 177 in 2016. Boerman et al. (2017) reported an increase in the number of synthetic drug laboratories (production sites) identified, from 30 in 2012 to 59 in 2016. Furthermore, the European Reporting Instrument on Sites related to Synthetic Production (ERISSP) database (Van den Besselaar and van Grootel, 2017) identified 61 labs, 84 storage sites and 177 dumping sites in the Netherlands in 2016 (N = 322).

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This paper was commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to provide background material to inform and contribute to the drafting of the EU Drug Markets Report (EDMR) 2019.

This background paper was produced under contract no CT.18.SAS.0025.1.0 and we are grateful for the valuable contribution of the authors. The paper has been cited within the EDMR 2019 and is also being made available online for those who would like further information on the topic. However, the views, interpretations and conclusions set out in this publication are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the EMCDDA or its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union.