National study of illicit drug use in Slovakia based on wastewater analysis.Sci Total Environ 2014; 494-495:158-65ST
The aim of this study was to analyze illicit drugs and their metabolites in wastewater from eight selected wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Slovakia. The effect of two of the biggest music festivals in Slovakia on illicit drugs in wastewater was also investigated. Urinary bio-markers of amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy use were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We then compared our results with data obtained in other parts of Europe and the world. This study demonstrates that Slovakia has one of highest methamphetamine consumption rates in Europe. Within Slovakia, the highest level of methamphetamine consumption was found in Petržalka, where the mean specific load of this drug in sewage was 169 mg/day/1000 inhabitants; the next highest loads were detected in Piešťany (128 mg/day/1000 inhabitants) and Bratislava (124 mg/day/1000 inhabitants). Amphetamine, ecstasy and cannabis consumption in our study were comparable to that found in other European cities, whereas cocaine consumption was lower. We also analyzed the pattern of drug consumption over the course of a week. The load of the cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine in wastewater increased during the weekend. The use of this drug was most common in the capital of Slovakia. Increased consumption was also found during a folk festival in Piešťany. The ecstasy load in wastewater from larger cities also significantly increased over the weekend. An increase of drug consumption was also detected during a music festival in Trenčín, especially for ecstasy. The specific load of ecstasy during this festival increased from 3mg/day/1000 inhabitants to 29 mg/day/1000 inhabitants. The possible influence of music styles on the consumption of certain drugs was also observed. During a folk festival, methamphetamine and cocaine were more commonly used.