Data on samples collected in wastewater are included in the study "Wastewater analysis and drugs" - carried out in 75 cities in 25 countries, with data collected in Lisbon, Almada and Porto in Portugal - refer to 2021 and are published by the European group SCORE, in collaboration with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

According to an expert from the EMCDDA, based in Lisbon, the data collected in the Lisbon wastewater analyses are “very in line” with the other cities studied, with an increase in the consumption of cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines and a decrease in MDMA. (commonly known as ecstasy).

On the other hand, in Porto only the consumption of amphetamines increased, in contrast to other European cities, with a decrease in the other substances analysed.

Significant increase

In Almada there was also a “significant increase” in the use of cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy and a decrease in the rest.

The study notes “an increase in detections in most of the drugs studied” (cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines and MDMA) in 2021 during lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With regard to cannabis, the highest loads of the metabolite (THC-COOH) were found in southern and western European cities, particularly in Portugal, Spain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands (Netherlands) and Slovenia.