National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program - Ninth report
Mar 12, 2020
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program tests wastewater for traces of drugs, as a way of estimating rates of substance use within a population. The trends detected from wastewater analysis need to be interpreted with caution - changes in purity can appear to show increasing rates of use, assumptions made about standard doses of various drugs can be inaccurate. Along with these cautions, the wastewater system is sometimes used to dispose of drugs, potentially inflating the data. However over time, and when collated alongside other data sources, it could be a useful way of monitoring changes in the drug market. The most recent report (2018 - 2019) shows an increase of cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA and heroin in wastewater from the 2016 -2017 report.