(Unsplash)

Down the toilet: Study compares pot, meth, cocaine found in sewage across Canada

More meth found in Vancouver, more cannabis in Halifax

What you flush down the toilet says a lot about you, at least to Statistics Canada.

The agency released results Monday from a year-long sewage study in five major cities, including Vancouver, where it tested the wastewater for various drugs. It began in March 2018 and ran until the spring of 2019.

Meth use was highest in Vancouver and Edmonton, the results suggest, while cannabis use was highest in Montreal and Halifax.

The average methamphetamine load across all five cities was 270 grams per million people per week, but the average in Vancouver and Edmonton was 3.7 times higher than the next cities, Montreal and Toronto.

Despite B.C.’s reputation as the most cannabis-friendly province, Vancouver had the second-lowest consumed amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Researchers measured the amount of pot in the cities’ wastewater using a compound produced by the body when cannabis is consumed.

The average weekly load in Vancouver was 313 grams per million people, compared to 936 grams in Halifax and 833 grams in Montreal. Toronto was similar to Vancouver, at 327 grams, while Edmonton lagged behind with 244 grams.

Despite recreational cannabis becoming legal in October 2018, the study found no spike of the substance in sewage that month. The highest amounts were recorded in May and June 2018, with a smaller uptick in December.

Cocaine use was fairly steady across the five cities, with Edmonton coming in the lowest at 268 grams per million people per week while Vancouver came in on top at 425 grams.

READ MORE: Here’s a first look at Canada’s sewage tests for cannabis use

READ MORE: Statistics Canada sifting through sewage to gauge pot consumption


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDCRS students can access program by Red Deer author

Academy of Writers by Sigmund Brouwer is now available to students through a new partnership

Alberta predicting 400 to 6,600 deaths from COVID-19 in months to come

Alberta predicting 400 to 6,600 deaths from COVID-19 in months to come

25 new cases Tuesday in Alberta, provincial total at 1,373

Premier Jason Kenney to provide more information later in the evening

Alberta RCMP have reported being threatened with COVID-19

Some members of the public are threatening RCMP by claiming to have COVID-19 and coughing on them.

Sylvan Lake students watching morning announcements during home learning

École Mother Teresa School is posting the morning routine on its YouTube channel for students daily

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

WATCH: Update from Prime Minister Trudeau

April 8 briefing from Ottawa

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

Liberals asked to help cover overruns on projects delayed by COVID-19

$5 billion in federal funding for 607 projects

COVID-19 sparks rise in online child predators, says UNICEF chief

Canada’s efforts to help young girls and women recognized

More help on way for those not eligible for emergency aid programs

A retooled Canada Summer Jobs program to be announced

Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73

Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73

Dr. Donald: why the U.S. president keeps touting an unproven COVID-19 treatment

Dr. Donald: why the U.S. president keeps touting an unproven COVID-19 treatment

Most Read