Authorities test sewers for cocaine
14 June 2007
BRUSSELS – The Belgian Science Policy department has started a large-scale investigation into cocaine use in the country. Marc Verwilghen, outgoing minister for scientific policy, has commissioned the study, Het Belang van Limburg reported on Thursday.
Verwilghen has asked the universities of Antwerp and Lieges to test water samples from sewage processing installations at 100 locations in the country. Researchers will be looking for benzoylecgonine the most common by product of cocaine use excreted in the urine.
“The plan is to get an accurate picture of cocaine use,” Verwilghen says. The study is based on similar sewage water studies in the Italian Po river and the Thames in Great Britain.
The most recent annual report from the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Problems (CAD) indicates that cannabis and cocaine use is on the rise. The centre received 25 percent more requests for help with addiction last year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news