Let’s share the knowledge

Wastewater is an invaluable source of information about human lifestyle and health. This information can be used by public health authorities to monitor and improve the health of their communities.

Yearly monitoring

Since 2011, SCORE coordinates a yearly wastewater monitoring campaign. During one week, samples are collected from numerous cities around the world and are analysed for a selection of illicit drugs.
143 wastewater plants in 120 cities from 37 countries worldwide joined this year’s monitoring for the analysis of illicit drugs and metabolites in wastewater.
Once a year and for one week, SCORE members collect wastewater samples and analyse these to determine concentrations of illicit drug metabolites of cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine and ecstasy (MDMA). After quality control, the data is published on our website and, for European cities, is communicated to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which includes it in its yearly European Drug Report.
Links:
PDF: Graphical representation of results (2020 participants for all years)
Tool: open data repository for using or referring to SCORE monitoring data
Tool: Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study

Methods used

Wastewater samples are collected from the influent of wastewater treatment plants during one week in March or April. This period is selected so as to obtain samples representative of a “normal” week (i.e., no events or holidays). Participating laboratories make use of their own validated methods to analyse various illicit drugs and metabolites, including cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine and MDMA. If partners do not have analytical capabilities, analyses can be performed by one of the other participating laboratories (contact us).

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Results

Through the yearly wastewater monitoring campaign, SCORE has been collecting data about illicit drug use in more than 120 cities across the world. This data provides a unique overview of trends in illicit drug use. In particular, the data can be used to detect changes in consumption habits, monitor availability of drugs on the market and highlight potential threats for users. At the European level, data collected by the SCORE network is shared with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) which uses it as one of its indicators reported in the yearly European Drug Report.

Inter-laboratory

All SCORE members can participate for free to the yearly inter-laboratory exercise.
The inter-laboratory exercise is organised by SCORE every year and provides laboratories with the opportunity to externally validate their results. Participation is free of charge and anyone interested in assessing their analytical methods can register. The SCORE network only publishes data from laboratories which have successfully passed the inter-laboratory test.
SCORE can provide assistance to laboratories to ensure that they can update their methods and achieve satisfactory results.
Links:
PDF: Interlab overview 2011-2014 all participants per compound and matrix (as pdf file)
ZIP: Overview per substance (as zip file)
ZIP: Overview per lab (as zip file)
Excel: numeric summary (excel file)

Want to participate?

We are always looking for partners willing to participate and to contribute to the SCORE network in order to further develop wastewater-based epidemiology.