Netherlands Country Drug Report 2018

Public expenditure

While understanding the costs of drug-related actions is an important aspect of drug policy, there are no recent data available on the total drug-related public expenditure in the Netherlands or trends in spending. In the Netherlands, no budget is specified and allocated in the drug policy documents and there is no recent overall review of executed expenditures.

A study using 2003 data suggested that total drug-related public expenditure represented 0.5 % of gross domestic product and that the majority of the expenditures were attributed to law enforcement (75 %) and the remainder to treatment (13 %), harm reduction (10 %) and prevention (2 %). Recent estimates suggest that the public sector spent EUR 84 million to implement the Opium Act in 2015.This budget was spent on prevention, police investigation, prosecution, sentencing, implementation of sentences, supporting offenders and victims, and judicial services.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.