Amphetamine use in Reykjavík is the fourth highest among 70 European cities, according to a new study by Arndís Sue-Ching Löve, PhD student at the University of Iceland Faculty of Medicine, Vísir reports.
The study was supervised by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The EMCDDA released a study in December, using wastewater analysis to assess drug use all across Europe.
Only the residents of Antwerp, Belgium, and the German cities of Dülmen and Dortmund use more amphetamine than do the residents of Reykjavík, according to the EMCDDA study.
Wastewater samples were collected over a period of one week in March 2016, in cooperation with Verkís engineering consultants and Veitur water and sewage service. Automatic sampling was used of what could be called a pooled community urine sample.
The use of amphetamine and methamphetamine was found to be steady over the week but a substantial increase in MDMA and cocaine use was observed over the weekend.
According to Arndís, the residents of Reykjavík are heavy users of water compared with those in other European cities, making the concentration of the drugs in the sewer system low.
“What surprised us the most was that all of the most commonly used drugs were detected in the Reykjavík sewer system. We were also surprised to see that the use of amphetamine is heavy in Reykjavík compared with [cities] in southern Europe, but similar to that of Norway and Finland,” Arndís remarked.
The Reykjavík Police confiscated more than six times as much amphetamine in 2015 than the previous year, or 22.6 kg, compared with 3.5 kg in 2014. Preliminary figures for 2016 indicate that about 9 kg were confiscated that year.