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Illicit drug consumption estimated by wastewater analysis in different districts of Milan: A case study

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Wastewater analysis is a new approach developed to estimate illicit drug (ID) consumption in large communities, such as a city. We tested the ability of this approach to detect differences in consumption in different districts of a city.

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Introduction and aims: Wastewater analysis is a new approach developed to estimate illicit drug (ID) consumption in large communities, such as a city. We tested the ability of this approach to detect differences in consumption in different districts of a city.

Design and methods: Consumption of cocaine, heroin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (cannabis active principle), amphetamine, methamphetamine and ecstasy was estimated by analysis of selected drug excretion residues in composite 24 h samples of untreated urban wastewater by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Samples were collected from the inlet of the three main Milan wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), each serving a district of the city (west, center and east). In each WWTP, samples were taken daily for seven consecutive days in November 2010 and March 2011.

Results: We observed significant differences of ID consumption (expressed as mg/day/1000 inhabitants) among districts: consumption of some ID was significantly higher in the eastern district (P < 0.01 for THC, P < 0.001 for cocaine and P < 0.0001 for heroin by one-way analysis of variance), while consumption of methamphetamine and amphetamine was higher in the central area (P < 0.0001). Overall, from 2010 to 2011, ID consumption decreased in all the districts, in line with a recent population survey showing decreases from 25 to 55% in the annual prevalence of ID users in Italy.

Discussion and conclusions: This approach may help to detect ID consumption in different districts of a city and may be useful for planning interventions aimed at specific city areas and substances.

Keywords: Italy; consumption; illicit drug; tandem mass spectrometry; wastewater.

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25545943/?utm_source=no_user_agent&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pubmed-2&utm_content=1854v2hhZntXmjLwJ2c8ICqk5dHszkjKaegUwgxvTg53irEIHf&fc=20200804212743&ff=20200813151351&v=2.11.5

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