40 ára afmælisráðstefna SÁÁ: Estimation of community drug abuse in the Reykjavík metropolitan area by wastewater analysis
Arndís Sue Ching Löve, PhD student MS Pharm
Introduction: Drug abuse has been a matter of concern worldwide due to the risks these substances pose to human health, and their connection to crime. Sewage epidemiology is a methodology used to assess illicit drug use where wastewater is considered a pooled urine sample of a population. This method enables a more timely and accurate estimation of the amount of abused drugs, compared with using current indirect survey methods.
Materials and methods: Sample collection took place in the spring and summer of 2016 and in the spring of 2017 from two wastewater treatment plants, Skerjafjarðarveita og Sundaveita, that contribute to the majority of the Reykjavík metropolitan area. Commonly used illicit drugs along with the abused prescription drug methylphenidate were quantified in the samples using UPLC-MS/MS and solid phase extraction. Further, compound concentrations were back-calculated to mg/day/1000 inhabitants.
Results: When seasonal trends were compared, the results show that amphetamine and MDMA use was higher during the summer of 2016 compared to spring 2016 and 2017. Increase in use during the summer time could be associated with a higher number of social events during that time. Cocaine use was lowest in the spring of 2016 but increased during the summer of 2016 and spring of 2017. The increase in cocaine use could possibly be explained by the improving economic status in Iceland and therefore changes in patterns of use. Methylphenidate use was highest in the spring of 2016 but decreased in later samples. Minimal seasonal changes were observed for methamphetamine and cannabis. Weekly trends were observed for MDMA, amphetamine and cocaine with higher use during the weekend. This is in accordance with known recreational use of these chemicals.
Conclusion: The results show that this methodology can produce rapid and detailed information on illicit drug use in a defined area in Iceland.
Arndís Sue Ching Löve
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland
Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík – High School Diploma – 2001-2005
Faculty of Pharmacology, University of Iceland – B.Sc. in Pharmacological Sciences – 2006-2009
Faculty of Pharmacology, University of Iceland – M.Sc. in Pharmacological Sciences – 2009-2011
Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland – Ph.D. studies – 2014 – present
Project supervisor: Margrét Þorsteinsdóttir, Associate professor, Faculty of Pharmacology, University of Iceland
Description: Development of a LC-MS/MS method and a sample preparation method for the quantification of cortisol and cortisone with a chemometric approach.
Grade: 9 / 10
Project supervisor: Kristín Ólafsdóttir, Associate professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland
Description: Tool development for the estimation of non-medical use of prescription drugs and assessment of illicit drug abuse with sewage epidemiology.
The National University Hospital of Iceland – Dept. of Virology – Research assistant – 2004
The National University Hospital of Iceland – Dept. of Lung disease- and Tuberculosis – Research assistant – 2005
The National University Hospital of Iceland – Library of clinical records – Filing and organizing of clinical records – 2006-2007
Laugarnesapótek – Pharmacy student internship – 2007-2008
Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Iceland – Pharmacy student / lab technician – 2008
Laugarnesapótek – Pharmacy student internship – 2009
The Icelandic Sports Federation – Drug testing of athletes – 2009-2010
Laugarnesapótek – Assistant pharmacist – 2010
Project manager – Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Iceland – Specialist in the analysis of pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in biological samples using chromatographic separation techniques – 2011- present
Assistant teacher – Faculty of Odontology and Faculty of Nursing – General pharmacology – 2015 – present
Pharmaceutical translator (freelance) – Alvogen Iceland ehf. – English and Icelandic translations to summaries of product characteristics and patient information leaflets – 2015
Arctic Studies – Science Cooperation – 2013
COST action ES1307 – 2014-2018
Rannsóknasjóður Háskóla Íslands – 2015, 2016, 2017
Rannsóknamiðstöð Íslands (Rannís) – Doctoral student grant – 2016-2018
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A. S. C. Löve, J. A. Baz-Lomba, M. J. Reid, K. Ólafsdóttir, A. Kankaanpää, T. Gunnar and K. V. Thomas (2017). Analysis of stimulant drugs in the wastewater of five Nordic cities. Science of the Total Environment (manuscript ready for submission).
J. A. Baz-Lomba, A. S. C. Löve, M. J. Reid, K. Ólafsdóttir and K. V. Thomas (2017).
A high-throughput solid-phase microextraction and pre-column dilution large volume injection method for water samples. Science of the Total Environment (manuscript ready for submission).
Trends in illicit drug use during one summer week in Reykjavík
Testing the Waters 2015, Monte Veritá, Switzerland