The opioid crisis is a public health emergency in the United States. In 2022, an estimated 109,680 drug overdose deaths were recorded, and the number of deaths continues to increase annually.
Traditional methods of tracking drug use, such as survey data, emergency medical services (EMS) data, mortality data, and hospitalization data, are often too slow and inaccurate to be effective in addressing the opioid crisis. These methods can take months or even years to collect and analyze, and they often undercount the true extent of drug use in a community.
Wastewater monitoring is a new and innovative approach to tracking drug use that is more timely and accurate than traditional methods. By collecting and analyzing sewage samples we can have a more accurate picture of the drug epidemic, providing community leaders more accurate data – data that can save lives.
In this eBook we dive into:
- Results from a year-long research program testing at 53 wastewater treatment plants across the U.S. for high risk substances.
- The public health implications and value of monitoring wastewater for fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and nicotine.
- How wastewater can serve as the central mechanism in evaluating the effectiveness and impact of intervention programs.