Mar 19, 2018

Norwegian Researchers to Execute Annual Search for Drugs in Wastewater

The search will sample water from 56 different cities

Norwegian researchers to execute annual wastewater analysis for drug use

Norwegian researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA) will soon enact their annual search of wastewater for different narcotics. The effort will span across 19 different countries and sample sewage from 56 cities.

The purpose of the annual analysis is to aid in the determination of what drugs are present and being used within the cities. NIVA researchers cull samples from the VEAS plant, which serves more than 600,000 residents throughout Norway. Results released from last March’s sampling shows that MDMA is seeing an uptick throughout Europe.

“The clearest European trends are that the highest levels of cocaine are measured in southern and western European countries, while amphetamines are more popular in northern and eastern European countries,” said Malcolm Reid, research manager at NIVA. “And MDMA has exploded on the market everywhere.”

The various cities from which samples are drawn vary greatly in population, and researchers measure how many milligrams of a substance they find per 1,000 inhabitants per day, ultimately using a median derived from the seven-day testing period.

Results from this year’s testing period are likely to be released next March.