New England college town wastewater reveals high usage of stimulants and a rise in drug use during the pandemic

Research scientist using digital tablet to browse internet and find biochemistry discovery. Female chemist working with device to create pharmaceutical cure, microbiology experiment.

The COVID-19 pandemic helped legitimize Wastewater-based Epidemiology (WBE) as a less invasive, cost-efficient way to monitor public health. WBE allows scientists to detect concentrations of drugs or biomarkers in sewage, providing an estimate of community drug use or disease infection rates.

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