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Tempe Partners With ASU To Detect Drugs In Wastewater

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 4:43pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 6:05pm
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The Tempe City Council has partnered with Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute to map drug use by studying human waste.

Each party will contribute $35,000 to the project.

Everything – drugs included – sooner or later travels the sewers.

So Tempe and ASU plan to study wastewater as part of a public health effort to identify substance abuse hotspots and evaluate efforts to reduce opioid prescriptions.

ASU public health engineer Rolf Halden said experts know the official prescription rate but need a way to measure illicit drug use.

“The only one good way to measure that is to directly measure the drugs themselves, as well as the metabolites that are formed during consumption, in the wastewater of the city.”

The sampling will reveal data at the neighborhood level, so there's no danger that the government will trace your personal answer to nature’s call.