Use of stimulants may be on the rise, according to a new study.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction looked into the wastewater of 23 countries in 68 European cities, from approximately 49 million people. The research suggested an increase of illegal stimulants in 2019 — including amphetamines, cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine.
This team of scientists discovered an increase of MDMA residue in the wastewater in more than half of the cities tested. Which, may suggest the drug has spread its reach from nightclubs and festivals to a more broad range of settings. Areas with the highest concentrations of MDMA included cities in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Amphetamines increased in 21 out of 41 cities, according to the wastewater testing. Cocaine saw an increase in 27 out of 45 cities. Methamphetamine aka crystal meth, 17 out of 42 cities.
EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel said in a statement:
Wastewater analysis has demonstrated its utility over the last decade as an important new drug monitoring tool and a complement to more established monitoring methods. By delivering almost real-time data on drug use patterns, both geographically and over time, this novel approach can offer a valuable snapshot of drug use in key cities in Europe and an insight into emerging changes in behavior.