Drug Abuse in the Global Village    
Netherlands Antilles

 Trends in Drug Abuse
Extent of Drug Abuse: Cannabis and cocaine abuse are reported widespread throughout all social classes and all ages, but no estimates are available (U.N. 1990).
Abuser Characteristics: Abuse of cocaine is reported more prevalent among the 18-40 age range. The percentage of women abusers is unknown. Abuse occurs in all layers of society, but abuse among the poor is more visible (U.N. 1990).
Regional Variations: No information reported by 31st December 1993.
Trends: Some increase in the abuse of cocaine was reported (attributed to lower prices and greater availability), while cannabis abuse is decreasing (U.N. 1990).
Mode of intake: According to reports cocaine is smoked and sniffed, but not commonly abused in combination with other drugs (U.N. 1990).

Cost and Consequences of Abuse
Although suspected drug related deaths have occurred, no hard data is available to support this claim (U.N. 1990).
A reported increase in crime (robberies and violent crimes) by drug abusers is attributed to the increased abuse of cocaine, "basuco" (coca paste) and crack (U.N. 1988).

National Responses to Drug Abuse
National Strategy: The government and the private sector in the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles collaborate in the delivery of drug abuse related programmes. During 1990, a UNFDAC sponsored programme was initiated targeting lower-income barrios in Curacao. The programme was used as a pilot, prior to implementation elsewhere in the country (U.N. 1990).

Actions Taken to Implement International Drug Control Treaties**
Treaty adherence:
Netherlands Antilles is not party to the 1961, 1971 nor the 1988 Conventions.

Demand Reduction Activities
Primary Prevention:
Service clubs sponsor educational programmes. In Bonaire, the local television station runs special educational spots, and PAHO has sponsored a drug abuse workshop for people involved in prevention and rehabilitation services (U.N. 1990). The School Of Nursing is reported to offer some training for health professionals in the field of drug abuse. However, most training is acquired in the United States and in the Netherlands (PAHO 1990).
Treatment and Rehabilitation: In 1990, 7 abusers received treatment and 40 sought treatment for the first time in the island of Bonaire. No data was reported for other islands (U.N. 1990). Drug dependent abusers with higher incomes are reported to go abroad  to receive treatment (mainly to the USA). Lower income abusers are treated locally (U.N. 1990). Treatment is usually given on an outpatient basis and consists of individual and group therapy. No specific policies are reported to have been formulated with regard to rehabilitation programmes (PAHO 1990).

Supply Reduction Activities
Arrests, Convictions and types of Offences:
In 1988, a reported total of 674 people (622 males) were arrested for illicit drug possession and trafficking, and 209 were convicted in 1988. According to data from Curacao customs, 18 people were arrested for the trafficking of cocaine, and 10 were arrested for the trafficking of cannabis. A significant majority of all persons arrested are reported either unemployed or unskilled laborers. Most of them are over 20 years of age (U.N. 1988).
Seizures: The quantity of cannabis herb seized increased from just 44 kg in 1990 to 1.3 tonnes in 1991. An increase was also reported in the quantity of cocaine (base and salts) seized, from 590 kg in 1990 to 624 kg in 1991 (Other 1990, 1991).
Supply Source of Drugs:The Netherlands Antilles five islands are a transit point between the drug producing countries of Latin America and drug consuming countries such as U.S.A., Canada and Western Europe. The growing local demand for drugs is considered a consequence of increased availability related to transit traffic of cocaine. It is also believed that due to declining economic conditions, many get involved in drug trafficking as a means of livelihood. As more people are available to act as couriers, shipments from Colombia seem to decline in size but to increase in number (U.N. 1988).

References and Notes

 ** The Legal, Administrative and Other Action Taken to Implement the International Drug Control Treaties section was not available by 15th January 1994.

U.N. 1988 and 1990 Replies to UNDCP Annual Reports Questionnaire for the years 1988 and 1990).

Other 1990, 1991. Obtained from one or more seizure reports provided by the Givernment or from other official surces for the years 1990 and 1991.

PAHO 1990 Epidemiologic Report on the Use and Abuse of Psychoactive Substances in 16 Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization, Special Report. vol. 24, no.1, 1990.