Wastewater testing compared with random urinalyses for the surveillance of illicit drug use in prisons

Brewer, Alex J., Banta-Green, Caleb J., Ort, Christoph, Robel, Alix E. and Field, Jennifer (2014) Wastewater testing compared with random urinalyses for the surveillance of illicit drug use in prisons. Drug and Alcohol Review, 1-5. doi:10.1111/dar.12185


Author Brewer, Alex J.
Banta-Green, Caleb J.
Ort, Christoph
Robel, Alix E.
Field, Jennifer
Title Wastewater testing compared with random urinalyses for the surveillance of illicit drug use in prisons
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-5236
1465-3362
Publication date 2014-08-07
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/dar.12185
Start page 1
End page 5
Total pages 5
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction and Aims: Illicit drug use is known to occur among inmate populations of correctional (prison) facilities. Conventional approaches to monitor illicit drug use in prisons include random urinalyses (RUA). Conventional approaches are expected to be prone to bias because prisoners may be aware of which days of the week RUAs are conducted. Therefore, we wanted to compare wastewater loads for methamphetamine and cocaine during days with RUA testing and without.

Design and Methods: We collected daily 24-h composite samples of wastewater by continuous sampling, computed daily loads for 1 month and compared the frequency of illicit drug detection to the number of positive RUAs. Diurnal data also were collected for 3 days to determine within-day patterns of illicit drugs excretion.

Results: Methamphetamine was observed in each sample of prison wastewater with no significant difference in daily mass loads between RUA testing and non-testing days. Cocaine and its major metabolite, benzoylecgonine, were observed only at levels below quantification in prison wastewater. Six RUAs were positive for methamphetamine during the month while none were positive for cocaine out of the 243 RUAs conducted.

Discussion and Conclusions: Wastewater analyses offer data regarding the frequency of illicit drug excretion inside the prison that RUAs alone could not detect.
Keyword Wastewater
Prison
Methamphetamine
Cocaine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 7 August 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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