Researcher Can Test an Entire City to Track Spread of Drugs


According to the Associated Press, scientists from Oregon State University have figured out how to drug test an entire community by analyzing just a teaspoon of wastewater from a city’s sewer plant. The test wouldn’t be used to identify individual drug users, AP said, but it could help law enforcement agencies track the spread of dangerous drugs across the country.

Scientists from Oregon State tested 10 American cities for remnants of drugs, both legal and illegal, from wastewater streams. They were able to show that they could get a good snapshot of what people are taking. “It’s a community urinalysis,” said Caleb Banta-Green, a University of Washington drug abuse researcher who was part of the Oregon State team.


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