‘Study drug not illegally imported’

‘Study drug not illegally imported’



One in 20 students sometimes use drugs like Ritalin without a doctor’s prescription, research (in Dutch) into their mental health and substance use by the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM), the Municipal Health Service (GGD) and the Trimbos Institute showed last year. How do they get it, the RIVM wanted to know. Traces in the sewage water of student towns do not indicate large-scale illegal import.


Ritalin can have side effects, the RIVM warns. Users can suffer from insomnia and heart palpitations, as well as gloom and depression. Even suicide attempts sometimes seem to be linked to the medication. The researchers decided to conduct additional research. They spent a week measuring the levels of ritalic acid, a substance in the medication, in the sewers of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven.


The results (in Dutch) showed that the concentrations of ritalic acid found roughly matched the amounts of medication dispensed on doctor’s prescription to people with ADHD. Therefore, there is probably no illegal import of the drugs at the moment, the researchers suspect. It is more likely that users are passing on or reselling their doctor-prescribed drugs. Further research is needed to further substantiate the suspicions, RIVM argues. (HOP, PvT)


Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

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