June 1, 2023

Milan among the first cities in Europe for the consumption of ketamine, the “rape drug”

Wastewater analysis conducted as part of a European project with data from 104 cities in 21 different countries. For Italy there are the Lombard capital and Bolzano

In Milan the i drug consumption: the Lombard capital has one of the highest records in terms of levels of use of ketaminethe so-called rape drug, but those of are also steadily increasing cocaine and cannabis.

Wastewater analysis

It emerges from the new 2022 report on the analysis of the presence of substances of abuse in wastewater conducted by the European group SCORE (Sewage Analysis CORe group Europe) in collaboration with the European Agency for Addiction Monitoring (EMCDDA) – Wastewater analysis and drugs: a European multi-city study.
For 2022, the wastewater of 104 cities, in 21 different countries Europeans. For Italy there are Milan and Bolzano. For Milan, which has been detecting the consumption of illicit substances since 2005, the group made use of the collaboration of the Mario Negri Environmental Epidemiological Indicators Laboratory, directed by Sara Castiglioni.
The samples represent a population of approx 54 million people. The traces looked for were those related to cannabis and other illicit stimulants: cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA/ecstasy and ketamine (the latter included in the analysis for the first time).

The weekends of the high

In recent years we have observed an increase in the consumption of cocaine and cannabis in particular. The consumption of ketamine, which we have been monitoring in Italy for about 10 years, is also on the increase and it results in Milan at one of the highest levels in the European cities investigated (see figure at the beginning, ed), declares Sara Castiglioni, of Mario Negri.
The general results show a consumption of cocaine on the rise since 2016as well as of methamphetamines.
A more mixed picture involves amphetamine, cannabis, and MDMA, the use of which varies considerably across locations.
The fluctuations in the weekly patterns of illicit drug use are interesting: more than three quarters of the cities showed an increase in the use of cocaine, ketamine and MDMA in weekend (Friday-Monday). On the contrary, the consumption of other substances (cannabis, amphetamine and methamphetamine) is more constant during the week.

The results and the substances


: Residues in wastewater were highest in cities in Western and Southern Europe (particularly in Belgium, with records in Antwerp, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal).
an alkaloid obtained from the leaves of coca (Erythroxylum coca). It is found as a powder to be inhaled or injected or crystals to be smoked (crack). Effects: stimulating and euphoric.

Methamphetamine: found in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The three cities with the highest surveys are all located in the Czech Republic, followed by cities in Latvia, Germany, Turkey and Cyprus.
Methamphetamine is a euphoria-inducing stimulant, but it causes side effects such as personality changes ranging from depression to violent behavior, increased blood pressure and brain damage. It is sold in powder, lozenge or crystal form and can be snorted, swallowed, smoked or injected.

Amphetamine: the highest loads are in the cities of Northern and Eastern Europe (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden).
It is found in the form of tablets, stamps / lick cards, capsules, food supplements; they are often sold as ecstasy. Effects: stimulants and hallucinogenic.

MDMA (or Ecstasy)
: The highest levels were found in Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, with records in Amsterdam. They are synthetic amphetamines sold in pills (with countless names), but also in powder or crystals to be inhaled or injected. Effects: euphoric, they take away the sense of hunger, thirst and tiredness.

: The highest levels were found in wastewater in Denmark, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Ketamine is an analgesic anesthetic, mainly used in the veterinary field. It is available as an odorless and colorless liquid for injection, as a powder for sniffing, or in capsules for swallowing. It causes hallucinations and dissociative experiences, often completely unpredictable. It is distinguished by its short duration of action, approximately 40-60 minutes, and by its immediate effect. the narcotic used in raves, also called the rape drug: it gives a blow to the sponge to his memory in the short term.

: Highest levels in Western and Southern European cities, especially in the Czech Republic, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal, with record city Geneva.
Cannabis indica produces hashish and marijuana. The active substance with effects on the nervous system the tetrahydrocannabinol (Thc). It is found in the form of herb for smoking, but also in the form of tea, as a powder or oil. Effects: well-being, euphoria, relaxation.

March 23, 2023 (change March 23, 2023 | 14:40)

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