Our proverb always hides wonderful passages of history that can often be spun with the most rabid actuality. The last one that we could link to our days is that of “Tell me who you’re going with and I’ll tell you how you are” but applied to wastewater and designer drugs. ”
It seems that these new psychoactive substances are much more resistant than we might expect, in the same way that everything indicates that the answers to a multitude of questions are found in the analysis of our wastewater .
A few weeks ago, remains of Covid-19 were identified in the waters of some cities before its outbreak within society and now, this example based on the latest study carried out by the University of South Australia, shows how in the sewers hides much more than garbage.
The research, led by Dr. Richard Bade , shows how prevalent these party pills are in different parts of the world.
An analysis, which has been published in Water Research, and which shows the pattern of consumption of designer drugs during the 2020 New Year celebrations in fourteen different places including Spain, Italy, Norway, China and the United States among others.
During the study, according to UniSA’s analytical chemist , Dr. Richard Bade, acknowledges that more than 16 synthetic drugs have been found out of the two hundred NPS monitored.
WHAT ARE NPS
The new psychoactive substances ( NPS ) are what we commonly know as “designer drugs” or, more on the street, “bath salts”, and among the best known we can find methamphetamine, GHB or Liquid Ecstasy, Ketamine and the m-CPP.
These new designer drugs are what we could define as “substances of abuse, either in pure form or in preparation” and that are not controlled by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. It is a range of drugs that aims to imitate synthetically those already outlawed (cannabis, cocaine, MDMD and LSD).
NPS effectively pose a threat to the public health of the planet . They are a very serious health problem and have side effects ranging from seizures to acute psychosis.
And they are not new in the strict sense, it does not mean that they have a short time of existence but that they were synthesized, at least, for the first time in the 90’s, but that it is only recently that they are available on the streets of the whole world.
They are a global phenomenon, as the study by the University of South Australia shows, and they are present in more than one hundred countries around the globe.
So much so that the data from the Australian analysis show that among the fourteen countries in which it was investigated, only Norway showed no trace of them: “The Netherlands registered the highest use, followed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Spain, Italy and China had the lowest incidence of designer drug use in the countries that participated in the study ”.
The whole world is polluted by new designer drugs .
WHICH DRUGS “CELEBRATED” THE 2020 NEW YEAR
Before the coronavirus pandemic that has plagued the world for almost a year, the analysis of the University of South Australia focused on the study of the New Year 2020, the last New Year that we celebrate in a ” normal ” way, and it reflected the arrival to the whole globe of a great quantity of new substances.
But its appearance was not homogeneous. Depending on the country, the abuse of one drug or another changes.
In Australia, New Zealand and the United States, the leading role was taken by N-ethylpentylone , a substance that had already been detected traveling for a long time through the music festivals of the Aussie country .
In those same places, a twenty-fold increase in the use of mephedrone, commonly known as M-CAT, was also observed: “It is a very powerful drug that produces similar effects to those of cocaine and MDMA,” says Dr. Bade.
The ketamine , a veterinary anesthetic, was the favorite of the Netherlands; and in the United States, mitragynine was abused, a drug that was present in almost half of the deaths caused in the country by NPS.
The biggest problem posed by the increase in the commercialization of these substances is that since their appearance they have been talked about as a legal and safe alternative to the illegal and well-known cocaine and cannabis.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This type of new substances represents a significant percentage of deaths that occur worldwide due to drug addiction, as a consequence, among other things, of the detection of 479 different NPS, 72 of them after the last annual analyzes carried out by the Office of United Nations Against Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The sewage from all these countries does nothing but demonstrate the constant abuse that occurs of these new drugs and that they suppose, as reflected by the analyzes of organizations such as the UN and WHO , a serious public health problem that must be preserve as soon as possible.