Cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine residues in wastewater: consumption trends (2009-2015) in South East Queensland, Australia

Lai, Foon Yin, O'Brien, Jake W., Thai, Phong K., Hall, Wayne, Chan, Gary, Bruno, Raimondo, Ort, Christoph, Prichard, Jeremy, Carter, Steve, Anuj, Shalona, Kirkbride, K. Paul, Gartner, Coral, Humphries, Melissa and Mueller, Jochen F. (2016) Cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine residues in wastewater: consumption trends (2009-2015) in South East Queensland, Australia. Science of The Total Environment, 568 803-809. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.181

Author Lai, Foon Yin
O'Brien, Jake W.
Thai, Phong K.
Hall, Wayne
Chan, Gary
Bruno, Raimondo
Ort, Christoph
Prichard, Jeremy
Carter, Steve
Anuj, Shalona
Kirkbride, K. Paul
Gartner, Coral
Humphries, Melissa
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine residues in wastewater: consumption trends (2009-2015) in South East Queensland, Australia
Journal name Science of The Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication date 2016-06-17
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.181
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 568
Start page 803
End page 809
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2305 Environmental Engineering
2304 Environmental Chemistry
2311 Waste Management and Disposal
2310 Pollution
Abstract Wastewater analysis, or wastewater-based epidemiology, has become a common tool to monitor trends of illicit drug consumption around the world. In this study, we examined trends in cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine consumption by measuring their residues in wastewater from two wastewater treatment plants in Australia (specifically, an urban and a rural catchment, both in South East Queensland) between 2009 and 2015. With direct injection of the samples, target analytes were identified and quantified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cocaine and MDMA residues and metabolites were mainly quantifiable in the urban catchment while methamphetamine residues were consistently detected in both urban and rural catchments. There was no consistent trend in the population normalised mass loads observed for cocaine and MDMA at the urban site between 2009 and 2015. In contrast, there was a five-fold increase in methamphetamine consumption over this period in this catchment. For methamphetamine consumption, the rural area showed a very similar trend as the urban catchment starting at a lower baseline. The observed increase in per capita loads of methamphetamine via wastewater analysis over the past six years in South East Queensland provides objective evidence for increased methamphetamine consumption in the Australian population while the use of other illicit stimulants remained relatively stable.
Keyword Urban cities
Rural areas
Illicit stimulants
Drug markets
Drug epidemiology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article in press

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Created: Wed, 15 Jun 2016, 20:41:31 EST by Coral Gartner on behalf of School of Public Health