Do You Take Methamphetamine, “Angel Dust”, Cocaine And Ecstasy? Yes You Do—All Of Them!
Illicit Drugs Detected in Wastewater
Let us sidestep, for the moment, the inconvenient truth that you swallow other people’s urine every day (as re-cycled sewage water).
What’s much worse is you swallow their pills and drugs. That’s medical drugs and street drugs. You swallow these substances every day. Methamphetamine is the most concentrated illicit drug found in U.S. wastewater.
If you don’t believe me, then believe a new study by researcher Jennifer Field, PhD, and colleagues at Oregon State University. They found methamphetamine in the water supply of five of the seven municipalities checked at the highest levels yet found anywhere in the world. The five cities that flushed the most meth were in the Western and Southern regions of the U.S.
Among the study’s other findings:
- Cocaine was found in all seven municipalities, although concentrations were much lower than methamphetamine concentrations. Concentrations were similar to those seen in previous studies, all in European cities.
- Ecstasy (MDMA) was detected in five of the seven municipalities.
- MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine, a psychedelic amphetamine) was detected in three of the seven municipalities.
- Ketamine, used both legally and illegally, was found in two municipalities.
- PCP ("angel dust," phencyclidine) was found in only one municipality.
- No LSD could be detected in any of the seven cities.
- Hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methadone, which are frequently prescribed and also frequently abused narcotics, were also found in all seven cities.
[The findings appear in the Dec. 15 2008 issue of Environmental Science & Technology].
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