(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

Quesnel opens loop and bridge after flooding receeds

The Johnston Bridge is now open to traffic from both directions

COVID-19 takes bite out of Quesnel property sales: Board

Property sales in the region are down over $10 million in 2020

Editorial: A Manitoba hello from your new Quesnel Observer reporter

Cassidy Dankochik drove from Gimli, Manitoba to Quesnel B.C. to start at the Observer.

Nominations for Quesnel Business Excellence Awards now open

Awards to be broadcast online Oct. 2, followed by winners parade Oct. 3

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic high-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read