Challenges and opportunities in using wastewater analysis tomeasure drug use in a small prison facility

Van Dyken, Emma, Lai, Foon Yin, Thai, Phong K., Ort, Christoph, Bruno, Raimondo, Hall, Wayne, Kirkbride, Paul K., Mueller, Jochen F. and Prichard, Jeremy (2016) Challenges and opportunities in using wastewater analysis tomeasure drug use in a small prison facility. Drug and Alcohol Review, 35 2: 138-147. doi:10.1111/dar.12156


Author Van Dyken, Emma
Lai, Foon Yin
Thai, Phong K.
Ort, Christoph
Bruno, Raimondo
Hall, Wayne
Kirkbride, Paul K.
Mueller, Jochen F.
Prichard, Jeremy
Title Challenges and opportunities in using wastewater analysis tomeasure drug use in a small prison facility
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-5236
1465-3362
Publication date 2016-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/dar.12156
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 35
Issue 2
Start page 138
End page 147
Total pages 10
Place of publication United Sates
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction and Aims:  Wastewater analysis (WWA) is intended to be a direct and objective method of measuring substance use in large urban populations. It has also been used to measure prison substance use in two previous studies. The application of WWA in this context has raised questions as to how best it might be used to measure illicit drug use in prisons, and whether it can also be used to measure prescription misuse. We applied WWA to a small regional prison to measure the use of 12 licit and illicit substances. We attempted to measure the non-medical use of methadone and buprenorphine and to compare our findings with the results of the prison's mandatory drug testing (MDT).

Design and Methods:  Representative daily composite samples were collected for two periods of 12 consecutive days in May to July 2013 and analysed for 18 drug metabolites. Prescription data and MDT results were obtained from the prison and compared with the substance use estimates calculated from WWA data.

Results:  Daily use of methamphetamine, methadone, buprenorphine and codeine was detected, while sporadic detection of ketamine and methylone was also observed. Overall buprenorphine misuse appeared to be greater than methadone misuse.

Discussion and Conclusions:  Compared with MDT, WWA provides a more comprehensive picture of prison substance use. WWA also has the potential to measure the misuse of medically prescribed substances. However, a great deal of care must be exercised in quantifying the usage of any substance in small populations, such as in prisons.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Thu, 10 Mar 2016, 20:27:51 EST by Professor Jochen Mueller on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology