Water analysis sheds light on substance use
Tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis were revealed to be the most-used substances in Istanbul in analyses conducted by a group of Turkish researchers from studies they ran on samples from the city sewers.
A study was carried out on the use of drugs through wastewater in Istanbul, a metropolis with a population of more than 16 million, in 2019 under the leadership of the Interior Ministry, according to a report by Demirören News Agency.
The study sampled 14 different wastewater management facilities in Istanbul every three months in 2019.
In the study, the substances with the highest average consumption were determined as alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, respectively, in the provisional sampling evaluations made for four periods.
While there was no change in tobacco consumption in different time frames, the alcohol consumption rate in March and June decreased significantly in September and December, according to the study.
Experts believe that the reason for the decrease in alcohol consumption is related to the application of an “excessive tax” on alcohol-containing products, which was imposed after June 2019.
Meanwhile, following the report that went viral on social media platforms, the Police Anti-Narcotics Department shared a statement that wastewater analysis alone does not provide indicative data on the drug problem.