Drugs Information and Monitoring System
The concentration of MDMA in XTC increased further in 2018, according to the DIMS Annual Report 2018. In 2014, 3 percent of the samples supplied contained more than 200 milligrams of MDMA, in 2018 that increased to 17 percent. The strongest pill contained 296 milligrams of MDMA. The higher the dose of MDMA, the greater the risks and chances of incidents and longer after-effects.
The Drugs Information and Monitoring System (DIMS) is a national network of 31 test locations, in collaboration with the Institutions for Addiction Care. The aim is to gain insight into the market for illegal drugs and to identify and warn about health risks.
In 2018, 13,540 visitors supplied 12,634 samples for testing. More than 60 percent of the total amount of samples handed in consisted of XTC tablets and MDMA powders. It is striking that also in 2018 the average concentration in tablets purchased as XTC increased further to 171 milligrams, while at the same time the percentage of pills with less than 150 milligrams of MDMA further decreased. From this it can be concluded that there are really only high-dose XTC tablets on the market, high if compared to the dosage that gives the desired effect (roughly 80-100 mg MDMA).
DIMS is a unique system and one of the oldest drug testing systems worldwide. It is important that not only drugs are tested, but that this is always accompanied by a talk about the effects and risks of the submitted drug. Moreover, the DIMS-staff as such is in contact with a group (recreational users) that is not easily seen otherwise, and it takes place at a quiet moment, namely in an office setting. Research and experience show that people are inclined to follow the prevention advice given, not only if the results show that the tested sample contains an extra risky substance such as PMMA, but also if the sample contains a high concentration of MDMA.
The DIMS Annual Report 2018 provides a picture of the current Dutch drug market.