The residents of Lubbock use more cocaine on the weekend. How do we know this? Science!
Influent to the Lubbock (Texas) Water Reclamation Plant was sampled twice a week to assess weekly variations in estimates of cocaine consumption over a 5-month period. BE was extracted from influent wastewater samples using solid phase extraction and analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Measured concentrations of BE were converted to cocaine equivalents; the estimated average daily consumption of cocaine during the study period was 1152 ± 147 g. Based on BE concentrations and sewage epidemiology, higher cocaine consumption was observed on weekends compared to weekdays (p < 0.0003). This method was effective in monitoring BE in wastewater and could be used to complement survey data in estimating cocaine use at a local level.