L1-9191 - Illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco: wastewater based epidemiology, treatment efficiency and vulnerability assessment of water catchments

Illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco: wastewater based epidemiology, treatment efficiency and vulnerability assessment of water catchments, 1. 7. 2018 - 30. 06. 2021, Tina Kosjek


Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an innovative approach to estimating exposure to external substances in defined populations by analyzing human metabolic excretion products (biomarkers) in wastewater. WBE can deliver complementary information concerning the use of different substances of abuse. In Europe, this kind of research has been ongoing since 2010, however in Slovenia these studies are yet to be performed. This project will correct this by determining selected biomarkers of illicit and licit drugs in influents from WWTP servicing five important Slovenian urban populations. It will compare the results with sale, seizure and consumption data and the findings used to assess the community health and a comparison will be made with WBE data from European cities. In addition to illicit and licit drugs, new psychoactive substances will be identified to aid in their early detection in order to minimize their potential harms, trafficking and to support law enforcement. To minimize uncertainties in WBE, we will apply stable isotope analysis to differentiate between compounds having the same chemical formula, but different isotopic composition, (parent compound/metabolite) or different synthesis/production routes, since stable isotope composition differs according to the source of production. This approach is novel but has the potential to increase greatly the accuracy of drug estimation in WBE.


MPS GZS KP Velenje


IRB MU Universiteit Antwerpen


AUTH AquaSystems EU Drugs


Najnovejši rezultati


Ocena uporabe prepovedanih drog v šestih slovenskih mestih v letu 2019

River knows what you were doing last Thursday


News article in "Delo - Znanost" by Ester Heath

Mapping international drug use through wastewater-based epidemiology


Wastewater-based epidemiology is a rapidly developing scientific discipline with the potential for monitoring close to real-time, population-level trends in illicit drug use. By sampling a known source of wastewater, such as a sewage influent to a wastewater treatment plant, scientists can estimate the quantity of drugs used in a community from the measured levels of illicit drugs and their metabolites excreted in urine.

Ostanki mamil v odpadnih vodah


V prvem dnevniku RTV SLO1 je bil objavljen prispevek na temo epidemiologije odpadnih vod z naslovom Ostanki mamil v odpadnih vodah, kjer sodelavci O2 (prof. dr. Ester Heath, Taja Verovšek in Ivona Krizman Matasić) predstavijo najnovejše izsledke na področju vsebnosti biomarkerjev prepovedanih drog v slovenskih odpadnih vodah.