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Use of legal and illegal substances in Malé (Republic of Maldives) assessed by wastewater analysis

This study used wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to investigate the lifestyle of the inhabitants of Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. Raw wastewater 12-h composite samples were collected from nine pumping stations serving the city area – thus representative of the whole Malé population. Samples were analysed by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry for estimating the profile of use of a large number of substances including illicit drugs, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco…

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This study used wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to investigate the lifestyle of the inhabitants of Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. Raw wastewater 12-h composite samples were collected from nine pumping stations serving the city area – thus representative of the whole Malé population. Samples were analysed by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry for estimating the profile of use of a large number of substances including illicit drugs, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and pharmaceuticals. The illicit drugs most used were cannabis (THC) and heroin (700 and 18 g/day), with lower consumption of cocaine and amphetamines (0.1-1.2 g/day). It is important to note that the consumption of cannabis in Malé was comparable to that measured in other countries, while the consumption of heroin was higher. Among cathinones, mephedrone was detected at the highest levels similar to other countries. Consumption of alcohol, which is not allowed in Maldives, was found (1.3 L/day/1000 inhabitants), but at a low level compared with other countries (6-44 L/day/1000 inhabitants), while the consumption of caffeine and tobacco was generally in line with reports from other countries. Unique information on pharmaceuticals use was also provided, since no official data were available. Human lifestyle was evaluated by applying for the first time the full set of WBE methodologies available in our laboratory. Results provided valuable epidemiological information, which may be useful for national and international agencies to understand population lifestyles better, including illicit drug issues, and for planning and evaluation of drug prevention programs in Malé.

Keywords: Alcohol; Illicit drugs; Pharmaceuticals; Republic of Maldives; Tobacco; Urban wastewater.

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31499350/?utm_source=no_user_agent&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pubmed-2&utm_content=1854v2hhZntXmjLwJ2c8ICqk5dHszkjKaegUwgxvTg53irEIHf&fc=20200804212743&ff=20200810110029&v=2.11.5

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