How Many Types of Drugs Get Into Wastewater at College Football Games?

drugs in wastewater - waste - run-off - drugs in our water - water treatment plant
March 30, 2020 5:59 pm - Published by

How Many Types of Drugs Get Into Wastewater at College Football Games
Welcome to Group Drug Screening

We all have heard of unsupervised, supervised, and chain of custody comprehensive urine drug screens used by:

  • Certain occupations
  • Certain government jobs
  • Treatment providers
  • Probation
  • Substance misuse treatment centers
  • Parents

Well, brace yourself: substance misuse epidemiologists and substance misuse public health researchers outdid themselves.

Substance misuse epidemiology nerds are now able to conduct group comprehensive urine drug screens at, for example, “the Oxford Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oxford, Mississippi (MS), and the University Wastewater Treatment Plant in University, MS. Samples were collected on weekends on which the Ole Miss Rebel football team held home games” (Gul).

Researchers used the same laboratory instruments used to validate individual comprehensive drug screens such as liquid chromatography, coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS).
I bet you can’t say: liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) three times fast.

Wastewater Analysis

Wastewater samples were collected and found to contain:

  1. Amphetamines
  2. Methamphetamine
  3. MDMA also known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, Ecstasy, and Molly
  4. MDA also known as Sally, Sass, and Sassafras
  5. Cocaine
  6. Benzodiazepines or benzos
  7. Codeine
  8. Hydrocodone
  9. Hydromorphone
  10. Morphine
  11. Norhydrocodone
  12. Oxycodone
  13. Oxymorphone
  14. Tramadol
  15. EDDP (a metabolite of methadone)
  16. Meperidine
  17. Normeperidine
  18. Methadone
  19. Alprazolam or Xanax, a benzo
  20. Alpha-OH-alprazolam, a benzo
  21. Nordiazepam, a benzo
  22. Oxazepam, a benzo
  23. Temazepam, a benzo
  24. [I think it’s safe to assume beer and THC were in there]

None of the following were found:

  • 6-MAM a metabolite of heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Norfentanyl
  • PCP or andel dust
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Flurazepam
  • 2-OH-ethylflurazepam
  • 7-NH2-flunitrazepam
  • Alpha–OH-triazolam.

The question remains: Do spectator sports (concerts, and other forms of entertainment) provide the venue for many mixed substance misusers to misuse substances?

How many people would attend spectator sports if they had to first provide a negative comprehensive urine drug screen?
Are the activities we “enjoy” as pleasurable without misusing drugs?
Can we really have a good time without misusing drugs?
Recovery is enjoying life without misusing drugs.

Reach Out

If you or a loved one wants to learn more about our substance use programs, please reach out to us today. Our admissions team is available 24/7 at (877)-RECOVERY to answer your questions. Because We Care.

Reference:
Gul W, et al. LC-MS-MS Method Development and Analysis of Stimulants, Opiates, Synthetic Opiates, PCP, and Benzodiazepines in Wastewater. Preponderance of these Drugs During Football Games. Methods of Molecular Biology. 2018;1810:149-182.