Refining the estimation of amphetamine consumption by wastewater-based epidemiology
“Consumption of amphetamine and methamphetamine, two common illicit drugs, has been monitored by wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) in many countries over the past decade. There is potential for the estimated amount of amphetamine used to be skewed at locations where methamphetamine is also consumed, because amphetamine is also excreted to wastewater following methamphetamine consumption. The present study aims to review the available data in the literature to identify an average ratio of amphetamine/methamphetamine (AMP/METH) that is excreted to wastewater after methamphetamine consumption. This ratio could then be used to refine the estimation of amphetamine consumption in catchments where there is both amphetamine and methamphetamine use. Using data from more than 6000 wastewater samples from Australia where methamphetamine is the dominant illicit amphetamine-type substance on the market, we were able to subtract the contribution of legal sources of amphetamine contribution and obtain the median AMP/METH ratio in wastewater of 0.09. Using this value, the amphetamine derived from methamphetamine consumption can be calculated and subtracted from the total amphetamine mass loads in wastewater samples. Without considering the contribution of amphetamine from methamphetamine use, selected European catchments with comparable consumption of amphetamine and methamphetamine showed up to 83% overestimation of amphetamine use. For catchments with AMP/METH ratio greater than 1.00, the impact of amphetamine from methamphetamine would be negligible; for catchments with AMP/METH ratio in the range of 0.04-0.19, it will be difficult to accurately estimate amphetamine consumption.”
(Citaat: Gao, J., Burgard, D.A., Tscharke, B.J., et.al. – Refining the estimation of amphetamine consumption by wastewater-based epidemiology – Water Research 225(2022)art. no. 119182 – DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2022.119182)
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