Epidemiology & monitoring projects

Implementation specialists, researchers, and policymakers at the Trimbos Institute work on a variety of monitoring projects. These projects include large and small scale epidemiological research, national monitoring studies, and participation in international monitoring and epidemiological efforts.

Drugs Information and Monitoring System (DIMS)

Since the 1990s, the Ministry of Health enabled the testing of illicit drugs for drug users to prevent serious health hazards associated with unexpected dangerous substances. This illicit drug testing system is called the Drugs Information and Monitoring System (DIMS); DIMS is a national network of testing facilities that furthermore aims at gaining an insight into the market of controlled substances. DIMS is embedded within the Trimbos Institute and is funded by the Ministry of Health (VWS). DIMS also runs the THC monitor (by analyzing cannabis samples purchased in randomly selected coffee shops on a yearly basis), and since 2012, DIMS also hosts the Monitor New Drugs, which focuses specifically on New Psychoactive Substances. For more  information, please visit the site here for publications in English and Dutch, including the annual report. 


For more information, contact Raymond Niesink

Dutch National School Survey

The Dutch National School Survey is a national research effort regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and the internet among adolescents. The Trimbos Institute conducts this research in collaboration with the University of Utrecht. The results of this research show the trends regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and the internet, while laying the foundation for new policies in schools, municipalities, and care institutions. Parents are targeted in a special module focusing on parenting practices, substance specific rules, and attitudes towards substance use.

For more information, contact Karin Monshouwer

European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs

Conducted every four years, the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) is a collaborative effort of independent research teams in more than forty European countries. It is the largest multinational research project on adolescent substance use in the world. The overall aim of the project is to repeatedly collect comparable data on substance use among 15- to 16-year-old students in as many European countries as possible.  More information can be found here on the ESPAD website.

For more information, contact Karin Monshouwer

Health Behavior in School-aged Children

The Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey collects data every four years on 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys' and girls' health and well-being, social environments, and health behaviors. HBSC includes 44 countries and regions across Europe and North America. Data collection alternates with the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs; the next HBSC study will be conducted in 2017. More information can be found on the HBSC website here.

For more information, contact Saskia van Dorsselaer

Monitor Drug-related Incidents (MDI)

The Monitor Drug-related Incidents (MDI) is a Dutch monitoring system of the Trimbos-institute, initiated in 2009. The MDI collects information on presentations with drug-related acute toxicities at four medical services and in eight regions of the Netherlands to provide an indicative base for monitoring. Acute toxicities were reported on by ambulance services, emergency departments of hospitals, and forensic medicine services in these regions, as well as first aid stations at large-scale (dance) events throughout the Netherlands. The aim of the MDI is to monitor drugs-related acute toxicities over time and to exchange information about drugs, acute toxicities, and treatment within the network of participating health care organizations. In addition, the MDI aims to protect public health in case of acute health risk through warning campaigns (Red Alert procedure) in collaboration with the Drug Information Monitoring System (DIMS), the ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sports, and the Healthcare Inspectorate.  As part of the MDI, in collaboration with Event Medical Service and the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (OLVG) hospital in Amsterdam, the Trimbos-institute carries out a study on the profile of individuals who experience health complaints after using ecstasy. The overall aim of this study is to better understand who is at risk for health complaints after ecstasy use.

For more information, contact Esther Croes

Monitoring deinstitutionalization and mental healthcare system reform

In 2015, the Trimbos Institute began the Reforming the long-term Mental Health Sector project. The monitor was commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sports. It focuses on three themes, including reviewing developments in the care that is offered to clients, collecting the personal experiences of clients, and comparing the policies and visions of different caregivers, institutions, and policies across different regions in the Netherlands.


For more information, contact Frank van Hoof

Monitoring the living arrangements for those with dementia

The Trimbos Institute conducts research to understand the living arrangements of those with dementia; this research is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sports and the 54 participating housing associations. The research is conducted every two years to review the current status of nursing home care for people with dementia in the Netherlands. This project includes monitoring the following topics:

  • the organization of dementia care;
  • the quality of the care that is offered;
  • the quality of life of the individuals with dementia;
  • the well-being of the healthcare professional; and
  • the number of individuals that work in each type of living arrangement.

For more information, contact Bernadette Willemse

Monitor of New Drugs

The Monitor of New Drugs (MND) assesses the presence of new (mostly unregulated) psychoactive substances in the DIMS system, along with data from the National Forensic Institute and the Customs Laboratory. The MND reports directly to the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport, as well as to the Office of the Coordination, Assessment and Monitoring of New Drugs.

For more information, contact Raymond Niesink

National Drug Monitor

The National Drug Monitor (NDM) is the core publication of drug monitoring in the Netherlands. It provides a current picture of the drug situation in the Netherlands to policymakers at the national and municipal levels, as well as to researchers and professionals in addiction care. The National Drug Monitor gives an overview of policy developments, drug use in adults and school-aged children, addiction treatment demand, drug markets, and crime.

For more information, contact Margriet van Laar

National Focal Point

The National Focal Point for the EU drugs agency EMCDDA is based in the Drug Monitoring Program at the Trimbos Institute. Its tasks include monitoring new developments in the drugs market (an early warning system) and implementing key epidemiological indicators.

For more information, contact Margriet van Laar

NEMESIS-2 study

The Trimbos Institute is involved in large scale, longitudinal research monitoring the mental health of the Dutch population between the ages 18 to 64 years old as part of the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS-2). The aim of NEMESIS-2 is to generate basic information about the mental health of the Dutch population, as well as changes in the mental health of the adult population over time. For more information, visit the Dutch language NEMESIS-2 website here

For more information, contact Margreet ten Have

THC Monitor

Many of the cannabis products sold in these coffee shops originate from Dutch-grown marijuana, known in Dutch as 'nederwiet'. On behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport, the THC Monitor investigates the potency of cannabis products sold in coffee shops in the Netherlands.

For more information, contact Sander Rigter

WMH (World Mental Health)-WHO survey initiative

The WMH (World Mental Health)-WHO survey initiative is a project of the Assessment, Classification, and Epidemiology (ACE) Group at the World Health Organization, which coordinates the implementation and analysis of general population epidemiological surveys of mental, substance use, and behavioral disorders in countries in all WHO Regions. The Trimbos Institute conducts the Dutch portion of this multinational survey.


For more information, contact Margreet ten Have