Source: Het Parool (NL)

Copyright: Het Parool

Author: Kurt van Es, Jos Verlaan

Pubdate: 05 01 01




The Justice department of Amsterdam, according to Chief District Attorney Vrakking, wants to extend the current heroin provision experiment.

"I suggest creating a kind of "City Opium dens" where psychotropic substances(1), if necessary even crack, would have to be dispensed." According to MR Vrakking, the evaluation report of the heroin project for subjects suffering from protracted addiction will also demand such an extension. Until now provision of other substances than heroin was taboo.

An Amsterdam city government spokes person confirms that "the three large cities"(2) have insisted to get a wider provision from the Minister of Health mrs Dr Borst but "crack" was not mentioned there.

The responsible Amsterdam elderman for this subject mrs Guusje ter Horst is very positive about mr Vrakking's suggestions. She finds the Justice's department's change of attitude striking for the City Triangle consisting of Justice Department, Police and Mayor was aggainst such extension until now. Now the Justice Department has changed it's stance, she wants to take this matter up at the upcoming meeting with the new Mayor Job Cohen and new District attorney.

If the official evaluation of the heroin experiment, to be released next year, turns out to be positive, Elderman ter Horst wants to extend the project to day centers and user rooms. A limited form of "house dealers" would have to be allowed there as the prescription heroin is only provided by and at the City Health Service (G.G & G.D).

User rooms outside the center of Amsterdam now often remain unused because addicts depend on dealers operating in the city center for the delivery of their drugs. So they look for a place to use in the center. By allowing a limited form of house dealer in the user rooms this problem can be solved.

Nationally some 600 addicts participate in the heroin provision experiment of whom 130 in Amsterdam. The project is intended for long term addicts that can not kick their habits. The requirements for participation are very strict. Among other things the participants are not allowed to use any other drugs other than heroin where the (side)use of smokable cocaine (3)

Vrakking expects that his successor D.A L. de Wit will also support his plea for extension of rooms and facilities for substance provision. "De Wit is used to something in Rotterdam". (4)

Chairman Jan van Ree of the Central Commission Support Heroin Provision (CCBH) finds Vrakking's plea a bit premature. "Parliament will never allow extension of the provision before the results of the current experiment are known"


=A9 Het Parool, 5 januari 2001

translated from dutch to english by mario lap, drugtext foundation

translation notes

1. The term "roesmiddelen" (plural for roesmiddel) is almost untranslatable to English. In fact this very frase shows the relatively deep differences in the way societies acculturate substance use. The dutch word "roes" does not have a positive or negative connotation but is best translated with "high" or "stoned" and "middel" is agent. So "roesmiddelen" would become "high agents" or something

2. the phrase "the three large cities" means Amsterdam, Rotterdam & Utrecht. 3. The authors use the phrase "crack" which is not entirely correct. The smokable cocaine usually sold and used in the Netherlands is usually described as "base". It is cocaine mixed with water and "stomach powder (natrium bicarbonate) and than cooked and filtered. 4. De Wit is the current D.A in Rotterdam