Using quantitative wastewater analysis to measure daily usage of conventional and emerging illicit drugs at an annual music festival

Lai, Foon Yin, Thai, Phong K., O'Brien, Jake., Gartner, Coral, Bruno, Raimondo, Kele, Benjamin, Ort, Christoph, Prichard, Jeremy, Kirkbride, Paul, Hall, Wayne, Carter, Steve and Mueller, Jochen F. (2013) Using quantitative wastewater analysis to measure daily usage of conventional and emerging illicit drugs at an annual music festival. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32 6: 594-602. doi:10.1111/dar.12061

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Author Lai, Foon Yin
Thai, Phong K.
O'Brien, Jake.
Gartner, Coral
Bruno, Raimondo
Kele, Benjamin
Ort, Christoph
Prichard, Jeremy
Kirkbride, Paul
Hall, Wayne
Carter, Steve
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Using quantitative wastewater analysis to measure daily usage of conventional and emerging illicit drugs at an annual music festival
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-5236
1465-3362
Publication date 2013-11-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/dar.12061
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 32
Issue 6
Start page 594
End page 602
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Introduction and Aims: Wastewater analysis provides a non-intrusive way of measuring drug use within a population. We used this approach to determine daily use of conventional illicit drugs [cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)] and emerging illicit psychostimulants (benzylpiperazine, mephedrone and methylone) in two consecutive years (2010 and 2011) at an annual music festival. Design and Methods: Daily composite wastewater samples, representative of the festival, were collected from the on-site wastewater treatment plant and analysed for drug metabolites. Data over 2 years were compared using Wilcoxon matched-pair test. Data from 2010 festival were compared with data collected at the same time from a nearby urban community using equivalent methods. Results: Conventional illicit drugs were detected in all samples whereas emerging illicit psychostimulants were found only on specific days. The estimated per capita consumption of MDMA, cocaine and cannabis was similar between the two festival years. Statistically significant (P<0.05; Z=-2.0-2.2) decreases were observed in use of methamphetamine and one emerging illicit psychostimulant (benzyl piperazine). Only consumption of MDMA was elevated at the festival compared with the nearby urban community. Discussion and Conclusions: Rates of substance use at this festival remained relatively consistent over two monitoring years. Compared with the urban community, drug use among festival goers was only elevated for MDMA, confirming its popularity in music settings. Our study demonstrated that wastewater analysis can objectively capture changes in substance use at a music setting without raising major ethical issues. It would potentially allow effective assessments of drug prevention strategies in such settings in the future.
Keyword Australia
Consumption pattern
Sewage epidemiology
Substance misuse
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 03 Dec 2013, 10:58:31 EST by System User on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology