(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

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

EDITORIAL: Honouring Kent’s history

Former editor Grace Kennedy reflects on the special edition for the 125th anniversary

Mount Woodside bike trail planning underway

With this week’s Council approval, planning can begin

FVRD WildSafe wraps up season

Black bears biggest source of calls in district

PHOTOS: Sts’Ailes students scale glaciers as part of mountain skills and wilderness program

‘It’s not just about taking kids hiking, it’s actually about connecting them to the land’

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Vancouver police investigate after man found dead in vehicle

Man has not been identified and no one has been arrested

Most Read