Análisis de aguas residuales y drogas: un estudio multicéntrico europeo


Análisis de aguas residuales y drogas: un estudio multicéntrico europeo

13 mayo 2024
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

La ketamina se añade por primera vez en la última actualización. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

2023 key findings

The project findings revealed distinct geographical and temporal patterns of drug use across European cities (see the data explorer).

The annual SCORE wastewater sampling presented here, from 88 cities, showed that, overall, the loads of the different stimulant drugs detected in wastewater in 2023 varied considerably across study locations, although all illicit drugs investigated were found in almost every city that participated. For the first time, data from outside Europe is also shown and compared against European cities.

The BE loads observed in wastewater indicate that cocaine use remains highest in western and southern European cities, in particular in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. Low levels were found in the majority of the eastern European cities, although the most recent data continues to show signs of increase.

The loads of amphetamine detected in wastewater varied considerably across study locations, with the highest levels being reported in cities in the north and east of Europe, as in previous years. Amphetamine was found at much lower levels in cities in the south of Europe, although with the most recent data showing some signs of increase.

The highest loads were found in cities in Sweden, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland.

Methamphetamine use, generally low and historically concentrated in Czechia and Slovakia, was also present in Belgium, the east of Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Türkiye. The observed methamphetamine loads in the other locations were very low, although most recent data show signals of increases in central European cities.

The highest mass loads of MDMA were found in the wastewater in cities in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

The highest mass loads of the cannabis metabolite THC-COOH were found in wastewater in cities in Czechia, Spain, the Netherlands and Slovenia.

For the second time, ketamine loads are being published. The highest mass loads were found in the wastewater in cities in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Spain.

Seventeen countries participating in the 2023 monitoring campaign included two or more study locations (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Türkiye). The study highlighted differences between these cities within the same country, which may be explained in part by the different social and demographic characteristics of the cities (universities, nightlife areas and age distribution of the population). Interestingly, in the majority of countries with multiple study locations, no marked differences were found when comparing large cities to smaller locations for all substances.

In addition to geographical patterns, wastewater analysis can detect fluctuations in weekly patterns of illicit drug use. More than three quarters of cities show higher loads of amphetamine, BE, ketamine and MDMA in wastewater during the weekend (Friday to Monday) than during weekdays. In contrast, cannabis (THC-COOH) and methamphetamine use was found to be distributed more evenly over the whole week.

Seventy-three cities have participated in at least five of the annual wastewater monitoring campaigns since 2011. This allows for time trend analysis of drug consumption based on wastewater testing.