project

Wastewater analysis of traces of illicit drug-related chemicals for law enforcement and public health

WATCH

Expert(s):
Erik Emke BSc, Prof. Pim de Voogt PhD

  • Start date
    20161219
  • End date
    20180618
  • Principal
    Europese Commissie
  • collaborating partners
    NIVA, UAntwerp, UBristol, UBath, UCastellon, MarioNegri, IFT, Eawag

Request for services for a waste water analysis report on the stimulant illicit drug markets in the EU.

Objectives

  • Conduct a wastewater monitoring exercise utilising a standardized protocol approved by the Commission and the EMCDDA to describe the European illicit stimulant drug market through city level studies. Explore within countries differences in city level wastewater estimates to provide a better understanding of geographical patterns between and within European countries.
  • In a sample of selected cities conduct exploratory pilot studies with the collection of repeat waste water samples over a sufficiently long time period to assess temporal variations in consumption patterns and explore the implications of this for sampling and analysis for routine monitoring purpose.
  • Develop models of drug consumption that incorporate waste water analysis with other data sources (such as drug purity, epidemiology and demographical information) and assess the utility of these for commenting on the following questions: a) understanding better illicit stimulant drug consumption patterns at the community level, b) improving market size estimates c) coherence between estimates derived from different data sources, d) if changes in the illicit stimulant drug market resulting from changing availability, purity or police activities are possible to detect in wastewater analysis.
  • Conduct a review and pilot study in selected cities to assess the possible utility of waste water analysis to report on synthetic drug production

Work packages

  • WP1. Pan-European wastewater analyses to describe stimulant drug market
  • WP2. Assess temporal variations in consumption patterns during a 1 – 2 month time-scale
  • WP3.  Interpreting and modelling wastewater data alongside other data sources
  • WP4. Long term synthetic drug production monitoring

Expected outcome

Qualitative and quantitative assessment of factors influencing variability in results from wastewater analysis, and validation of the role that  wastewater analysis can provide as a complementary tool for mapping illicit drug use in Europe.