Antwerp was one of three European cities with the most drugs in their wastewater in 2017, although the situation has improved slightly since the year before, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Wastewater samples were collected each week in March 2017 in the 56 cities, located in 19 countries, covered by the survey. In Belgium, the survey was conducted in Antwerp (south), Boom, Brussels, Deurne, Geraardsbergen, Koksijde, Merchtem, Ninove, Ostend and Ruisbroek.
The report shows that cocaine is consumed mainly in Western and Southern Europe. The only cities with higher levels in their wastewater than Antwerp were Barcelona and Zurich, with a daily rate of 822.9 mg of drugs per 1,000 persons. In 2016, the metropolis had placed first, with a daily rate of 914.8 mg/1000 persons. Brussels was in 18th place in 2017, with a rate of 373.8 mg per 1000 persons. This is a sharp drop compared to 2016, when it placed 11th with a rate of 416.8 mg/1000.
Amphetamine use is most pronounced in Western and Northern Europe, with various Belgian cities in the rankings. Antwerp (268.8 mg per 1000) is second only to Eindhoven, with Ostend (236.4 mg) in third place and Boom (191 mg) in sixth. Here again, the situation has improved since 2016, when Antwerp and Ostend were in the two top spots.
Finally, regarding MDMA, also known as ecstasy, Antwerp is in third position on 95mg per 1,000 residents, way behind the top two – Amsterdam (230.3 mg) and Eindhoven (165.1 mg). In one year, Brussels fell from 10th place (34.4 mg) to 22nd place (25.2 mg).