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In Milan, the i drug use: The Lombardy capital has one of the highest usage levels records ketaminethe so-called “rape drug”, but that of cocaine and cannabis.

Waste water analysis

This is evident from the new 2022 report on the analysis of the presence of substances of abuse in wastewater, carried out by the European group SCORE (Sewage Analysis CORe group Europe) in collaboration with the European Agency for Addiction Monitoring (EMCDDA) – Wastewater analysis and drugs: a European multi-city study.

Before 2022, the waste water will be from 104 cities, in 21 different countries Europeans. For Italy there are Milan and Bolzano. For Milan, which has been tracking the use of illicit substances since 2005, the group enlisted the collaboration of the Mario Negri Environmental Epidemiological Indicators Laboratory, led by Sara Castiglioni.
The samples represent a population of approx 54 million people. Traces related to cannabis and other illicit stimulants were sought: cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA/ecstasy and ketamine (the latter included in the analysis for the first time).

The weekends of the high

“In recent years we have seen an increase in the consumption of cocaine and cannabis in particular. The consumption of ketamine, which we have been following in Italy for about 10 years, is also increasing and it is clear in Milan at one of the highest levels in the surveyed European cities» (see figure at the beginning, ed), explains Sara Castiglioni from Mario Negri.

The overall results show a consumption of cocaine on the rise since 2016as well as from methamphetamines.

A more mixed picture concerns amphetamine, cannabis and MDMA, the use of which varies widely between the sites surveyed.

The fluctuations in the weekly patterns of illicit drug use are interesting: more than three-quarters of cities showed increases in cocaine, ketamine and MDMA use in weekend (Friday-Monday). Conversely, consumption of other substances (cannabis, amphetamine and methamphetamine) was more constant during the week.

The results and the substances


: Residues in wastewater were highest in cities in Western and Southern Europe (especially in Belgium, with records in Antwerp, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal).

It is an alkaloid obtained from coca leaves (Erythroxylum coca). It is found as a powder to inhale or inject or crystals to smoke (crack). Effects: Stimulating and euphoric.

Methamphetamine: Found in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The three cities with the highest detections are all in the Czech Republic, followed by cities in Latvia, Germany, Turkey and Cyprus.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that induces euphoria but causes side effects such as personality changes ranging from depression to violent behavior, increased blood pressure and brain damage. It is sold in powder, lozenge, or crystal form and can be snorted, swallowed, smoked, or injected.

Amphetamine: the highest taxes are in the cities of Northern and Eastern Europe (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden).

It comes in the form of tablets, stamps/lick cards, capsules, nutritional supplements; they are often sold as ecstasy. Effects: stimulant and hallucinogen.

MDMA (or Ecstasy)
: The highest levels were found in Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, with records in Amsterdam. They are synthetic amphetamines that are sold in pill form (with countless names), as well as in powder or crystal form for inhalation or injection. Effects: euphoric, they take away the feeling of hunger, thirst and fatigue.

: The highest levels were found in waste water in Denmark, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Ketamine is an analgesic analgesic, mainly used in the veterinary field. It is available as an odorless and colorless liquid for injection, as a powder to inhale or in capsules to swallow. It causes hallucinations and dissociative experiences, often completely unpredictable. It is distinguished by its short duration of action, about 40-60 minutes, and by its immediate effect. It’s the narcotic used at raves, otherwise known as the date-rape drug: it gives a short-term memory buff.

: Highest levels in Western and Southern European cities, especially in the Czech Republic, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal, with record city Geneva.

Cannabis indica produces hash and marijuana. The active substance that has effects on the nervous system is the tetrahydrocannabinol (Thc). It occurs in the form of smoke herb, but also in the form of tea, as a powder or oil. Effects: well-being, euphoria, relaxation.

Source: Corriere

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