June 29, 2012

MEASURING DRUG USE THROUGH WASTEWATER

The Australian Institute of Criminology have published a report titled "Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through wastewater analysis".   This paper provides an analysis of drugs and their metabolites in sewerage, in order to estimate population prevalence of drug use.   In this report, a regional Queensland town with a population of 150 000 people is examined.   This research is in its early days and there remains some problems with the estimates (especially where assumptions are made regarding standard doses of illicit drugs).  Still, this remains an interesting and potentially useful way of measuring rates of drug use in a population.

"Measuring drug use patterns in Queensland through wastewater analysis" (730KB PDF)