Testing for drugs down the drain – In the News

Credit: Flickr - Trey Ratcliff
Credit: Flickr – Trey Ratcliff

Prime Minister John Key this month revealed $5.1m extra in funding allocated to anti-drug initiatives, including $220,000 to allow for wastewater analysis to test for illicit drug use.

The testing will monitor the trace levels of drugs and drug by-products in sewage and wastewater, providing population-level data on what drugs people in an area are taking and trends in use.

Massey University researcher Dr Chris Wilkins undertook a pilot study analysing wastewater earlier this year and, according to RNZ, hopes to win the police contract for the testing programme.

Coverage of the proposed testing includes:

New Zealand Herald: Police flush out drug details
RNZ: Researcher hopes to test sewage for drugs