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Refinement and validation of the sewage epidemiology approach to estimate illicit drug use in the general population.

In this post-doctoral mandate, I will validate and refine an innovative approach for estimating illicit drug use in the general population based on sewage analysis for human excretion products of these substances ("sewage epidemiology"). In the first objective of this proposal, I will validate the approach by simultaneously executing a drug consumption questionnaire (thegold standard at this moment) and sewage epidemiology for a well-defined population and time period. The data resulting from both approaches will be compared and can serve as a validation of sewage epidemiology. The second objective focuses on refining sewage epidemiology back-calculations, by addressing the issue of estimating the population contributing to a specific sewage system in an objective, dynamic and real-time way. Different approaches for estimating the real amount of people contributing to a specific sewage system will be based on the analysis of specific markers in sewage that result fromhuman activity. The last objective deals with applying sewage epidemiology for new and innovative purposes, such as the exploratory investigation of the use of new and emerging substances and through the execution of uniformed Europe-wide monitoring studies that allow reliable international comparisons on the epidemiology of illicit drug use. It is expected thatthe successful completion of these objectives will have positive implications for international drug policy and public health.
Date:1 Oct 2012 →  30 Sep 2015
Disciplines:Public health care, Public health sciences, Public health services, Biomarker discovery and evaluation, Drug discovery and development, Medicinal products, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacognosy and phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmacotherapy, Toxicology and toxinology, Other pharmaceutical sciences