An innovative way of estimating the use of drugs and other substances

The analysis of sewage for human excretion products of illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other health parameters is an alternative methodology of obtaining information on the consumption of these substances at local, national and international level. It can help to optimise policy strategies and improve public health.


  • Analysis of spatio-temporal trends
  • Investigating drug use at specific events
  • Screening for new psychoactive substances (NPS)
  • Investigate lifestyle (e.g. tobacco & alcohol use) and health aspects of large populations


  • Wastewater = 'pooled urine sample' of a large population
  • European network of wastewater analysis (SCORE)