Although national data on absolute numbers of emergencies are not available, the Monitor Drug-related Emergencies (MDI) has been collecting information from a number of sentinel regions and emergency posts in dance and festival events since 2009, providing an insight into drug-related acute intoxications in sentinel centres. A second source on drug-related emergencies is the Injury Information System (LIS), which collects data from the emergency departments of 14 hospitals.
In 2017, 5 117 drug-related emergencies were registered at the MDI and 788 emergencies were registered at the LIS. Despite the ever-increasing concentration of MDMA in ecstasy pills (in 2017, around 65 % of ecstasy pills tested by the Drug Information and Monitoring System (DIMS) contained more than 150 mg of MDMA), the contribution of ecstasy-related emergencies at first aid posts is decreasing and the level of intoxication is stabilising (and recently decreasing).
Emergency cases involving more than one illicit or licit substance have been reported more frequently. Since 2012, emergencies linked to 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) have increased substantially, and the drug is often used in combination with other substances. Although no emergencies related to the use of 4-FA were recorded before 2012, 189 emergencies with 4-FA as the only drug were recorded in 2017, a decrease when compared with the 272 cases reported in 2016. 4-FA was placed on Schedule I of the Opium Act in May 2017.
In 2017, 22 % of the 5 905 emergencies were related to the use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), alone or in combination with other drugs. The patients very often had a moderate or severe level of intoxication.