Why Zwolle is called the epicenter of 3-MMC

Affordable and (still) legal: 3-MMC is popping up more and more. The synthetic drug, also popularly called "Poes" or "Meow", is often available at smart shops. But make no mistake – behind the innocent image, sharp claws are hidden.

Increasingly popular

The mayors of the Achterhoek recently wrote a joint letter to the House of Representatives to ban the substance. And many hospitals are also sounding the alarm. So why is 3-MMC still so popular?

You can buy it at a smartshop for about 25 euros per gram, but it is also easy to order online. Cheap, legal, readily available and highly addictive, these are the ingredients for a devastating drug.

3-MMC is sold in powder, crystals, capsules, tablets and as a liquid. It's a free new fabric with a psychoactive effect. Because the structure of the drug is unknown and differs from traditional drugs, the new variant is not yet covered by the drug law.

Users feel euphoric, tireless and confident. But immediately after working out, the need for more lurks. The severe hangover and strong cravings mean that users simply don't feel like it anymore - not in mandatory tasks, but also not in things that were fun before. You no longer feel motivated without 3-MMC and this often occurs after the first use.

Why in Zwolle?

According to the RIVM, the drug became extremely popular in the east of the Netherlands last year, with Zwolle in particular. Of the 115 reports of 3-MMC poisonings in the Netherlands, 35 came from Overijssel. And 15 of these from the city of Zwolle. Is it so normal then? Nursing specialist Ellen Veldkamp: "There was even a flyer for it"

Several interviews with students from Zwolle confirm how common the addictive drug is at parties. And in up to 10% of reported 3-MMC poisonings, the patient is a minor. It's probably just the tip of the iceberg, as these are just the known cases. And a common problem with addiction is that the disease is denied or hidden. 

What does the government do?

The cabinet decided in May that 3-MMC is a danger to national public health. In the autumn, the drug will finally be placed on list 2 of the Opium Act. This means that trading, producing, selling and being in possession of 3-MMC will be prohibited and punishable. 

In addition, work is being done on a law that will make all designer drugs illegal, so that producers can no longer use the gaps in the current legislation in the future. 

What is it like to be addicted to 3-MMC?

In an interview with the Telegraaf, Melvin spoke about his addiction to 3-MMC. He tells how he started it at the age of 17 and what it did to him.

Would you like more information about the operation, dangers and consequences? read here more about 3-MMC.