A study that has just been released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) of drug residue in wastewater of 70 European cities found that the highest amounts of cocaine residue in Bristol, Amsterdam and Zurich.
Bern and Barcelona also ranked highly but the highest level was recorded in the English city of Bristol, with 969 mg for every one thousand people in 2018. Zurich also marked highly for ecstasy, although here Amsterdam topped the list, followed closely by Berlin.
Fourteen mostly Western European countries took part in the study – Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Slovenia – which found sharp increases from an earlier study conducted in 2011.
Wastewater from approximately 46 million people was analysed by the EMCDDA for traces of four illicit drugs: amphetamine, cocaine, MDMA (or ecstasy) and methamphetamine.
Cocaine use remains highest in western and southern European cities, in particular in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.