Illicit drugs in wastewater of the city of Zagreb (Croatia)--estimation of drug abuse in a transition country.Environ Pollut 2010; 158(8):2686-93EP
A comprehensive study of various psychoactive substances and their metabolites was performed in the wastewater treatment plant of the city of Zagreb (780 000 inhabitants) using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS). The estimation of drug abuse for five different illicit drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, amphetamine and ecstasy, was made on the basis of their representative excretion rates, which were determined over a period of 8 months. Marijuana (1000 kg/year), heroin (75 kg/year) and cocaine (47 kg/year) were found to be the most frequently consumed illicit drugs, while the consumption of amphetamine-type drugs was much lower (1-3 kg/year). A comparison with other reports indicated that drug abuse profiles in transition countries might be different from those reported for Western Europe, in particular with respect to the comparatively increased consumption of heroin. Enhanced consumption of stimulating drugs (cocaine and ectasy) was systematically detected during weekends.