Belgium, like all countries struggle to control the use and distribution of illegal drugs. Nevertheless, and despite all efforts, Belgium has an active black market for contraband substances, aided largely by Antwerp’s port, the second largest in Europe, where 2% of the eight million container ships that enter it are screened for drugs.
A 2014 Global Drug Survey highlighted that nearly 20% of participants admitted to have been using cocaine in the last year. Cocaine typically costs €50 per gram, which is half the price of the upper end of the European average. The popularity and relative affordability of cocaine in Belgium is a result of the country’s location which is situated at the very heart of the cocaine trade in Europe. It is estimated that 25% of cocaine from South America enters Europe through Antwerp’s port.
In the same survey, 23% of participants had used MDMA (ecstasy). Like cocaine, MDMA often enters the country from Antwerp’s port and spreads through Europe. This influx of the drug keeps prices lower in Belgium than in many other countries.
Belgium doesn’t only distribute ecstasy, it also produces it. Back in 2013, in one of Europe’s largest ever drug busts, one tonne of MDMA was seized in raids across Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. This was focused largely on an ecstasy production plant in Chimay. The total street value of the seized drugs was €1.3 billion.
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To find out more about the Evidence MultiSTAT and our extensive test menu, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit randoxtoxicology.com. Also, don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we look into another World Cup competing country.