Covid-19 pandemic

Wastewater based epidemiology, determination of selected illicit drugs and Covid-19 pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an outbreak of a global health emergency on 30th January 2020 and a pandemic caused by Covid-19 in March of the same year. In our paper, we tried to find out if and how this situation affected drug consumption from the perspective of wastewater analysis. We compared the results of weekly sampling events from 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, which took place at approximately the same period of the year, but in 2020, 2021, and 2022 were affected by the state of emergency and other pandemic-related measures. We monitored the concentration of selected drugs – THC, methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, and some of their metabolites (amphetamine and benzoylecgonine) in wastewater samples taken at the inflow to wastewater treatment plants. According to our measurements, virtually all monitored drugs experienced changes in their consumption.