The rise of the mobile phone in the hard drug scene of Rotterdam

C Barendregt*, A van der Poel, D van De Mheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The rise of mobile phone dealing in the retail market of heroin and cocaine in the city of Rotterdam is described. Multiple methods were used for the study, including analysis of street survey data (1998, 2000, 2003), qualitative and quantitative analysis of fieldwork data, and semi-open interviews with drug users and key informants. In 2000, 70% of the respondents to a street survey bought drugs from a mobile dealer. Qualitative data showed that the majority of mobile dealers have an ethnic Moroccan background; the reasons for this may include the ambiguous attitude of the Moroccan community towards drug crime, and repressive legislation causing the market to find alternatives for basic street dealing. The rise of mobile dealing is discussed as a form of reshaping of the drug market under prohibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • drug dealing
  • drug enforcement
  • drug markets
  • local drug policy
  • Moroccans
  • public nuisance


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