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Estimating community drug abuse by wastewater analysis.
Environ Health Perspect 2008; 116(8):1027-32EH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The social and medical problems of drug abuse are a matter of increasing global concern. To tackle drug abuse in changing scenarios, international drug agencies need fresh methods to monitor trends and patterns of illicit drug consumption.

OBJECTIVE

We tested a sewage epidemiology approach, using levels of excreted drug residues in wastewater, to monitor collective use of the major drugs of abuse in near real time.

METHODS

Selected drug target residues derived from use of cocaine, opiates, cannabis, and amphetamines were measured by mass spectrometry in wastewater collected at major sewage treatment plants in Milan (Italy), Lugano (Switzerland), and London (United Kingdom). The amounts of drug residues conveyed to the treatment plants, reflecting the amounts collectively excreted with urine, were used to estimate consumption of the active parent drugs.

RESULTS

Reproducible and characteristic profiles of illicit drug use were obtained in the three cities, thus for the first time quickly revealing changes in local consumption (e.g., cocaine consumption rose significantly on weekends in Milan). Profiles of local drug consumption based on waste-water measurements are in line with national annual prevalence estimates.

CONCLUSIONS

Patterns and trends of drug abuse in local communities can be promptly monitored by this tool, a convenient new complement to more complex, lengthy survey methods. In principle, searching the sewage for excreted compounds relevant to public health issues appears to have the potential to become a convenient source of real-time epidemiologic information.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18709161

Citation

Zuccato, Ettore, et al. "Estimating Community Drug Abuse By Wastewater Analysis." Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 116, no. 8, 2008, pp. 1027-32.
Zuccato E, Chiabrando C, Castiglioni S, et al. Estimating community drug abuse by wastewater analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2008;116(8):1027-32.
Zuccato, E., Chiabrando, C., Castiglioni, S., Bagnati, R., & Fanelli, R. (2008). Estimating community drug abuse by wastewater analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(8), pp. 1027-32. doi:10.1289/ehp.11022.
Zuccato E, et al. Estimating Community Drug Abuse By Wastewater Analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2008;116(8):1027-32. PubMed PMID: 18709161.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Estimating community drug abuse by wastewater analysis. AU - Zuccato,Ettore, AU - Chiabrando,Chiara, AU - Castiglioni,Sara, AU - Bagnati,Renzo, AU - Fanelli,Roberto, PY - 2007/10/26/received PY - 2008/05/01/accepted PY - 2008/8/19/pubmed PY - 2008/9/11/medline PY - 2008/8/19/entrez KW - amphetamines KW - cannabis KW - cocaine KW - drug residues KW - illicit drugs KW - mass spectrometry KW - opiates KW - sewage epidemiology KW - urinary metabolites SP - 1027 EP - 32 JF - Environmental health perspectives JO - Environ. Health Perspect. VL - 116 IS - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: The social and medical problems of drug abuse are a matter of increasing global concern. To tackle drug abuse in changing scenarios, international drug agencies need fresh methods to monitor trends and patterns of illicit drug consumption. OBJECTIVE: We tested a sewage epidemiology approach, using levels of excreted drug residues in wastewater, to monitor collective use of the major drugs of abuse in near real time. METHODS: Selected drug target residues derived from use of cocaine, opiates, cannabis, and amphetamines were measured by mass spectrometry in wastewater collected at major sewage treatment plants in Milan (Italy), Lugano (Switzerland), and London (United Kingdom). The amounts of drug residues conveyed to the treatment plants, reflecting the amounts collectively excreted with urine, were used to estimate consumption of the active parent drugs. RESULTS: Reproducible and characteristic profiles of illicit drug use were obtained in the three cities, thus for the first time quickly revealing changes in local consumption (e.g., cocaine consumption rose significantly on weekends in Milan). Profiles of local drug consumption based on waste-water measurements are in line with national annual prevalence estimates. CONCLUSIONS: Patterns and trends of drug abuse in local communities can be promptly monitored by this tool, a convenient new complement to more complex, lengthy survey methods. In principle, searching the sewage for excreted compounds relevant to public health issues appears to have the potential to become a convenient source of real-time epidemiologic information. SN - 0091-6765 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18709161/Estimating_community_drug_abuse_by_wastewater_analysis_ L2 - https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.11022?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -