Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study

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From Barcelona to Limassol and Oslo to Porto, the study analysed daily wastewater samples in the catchment areas of wastewater treatment plants over a one-week period between March and May 2021. Wastewater from some 45 million people was analysed for traces of four illicit stimulant drugs (cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA/ecstasy) as well as cannabis.

The project analysed wastewater in 75 European cities from 25 countries (23 EU + TR and NO) to explore the drug-taking behaviours of their inhabitants. This is the highest number of countries participating to date, despite continued COVID-19 disruption in the study period concerned.

The findings from the largest European project in the science of wastewater analysis are published by the Europe-wide SCORE group, in association with the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA).

Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study


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