Drug checking at festivals has been promoted as a harm reduction strategy.  The emphasis in the popular media has been on the risk due to adulterants added to recreational drugs such as Ecstasy.  This presentation will provide an perspective on the technologies relied on to conduct drug analysis in real time.  Wastewater analysis of substances of abuse will be discussed as a complementary approach to demonstrate drug prevalence.  Some results from wastewater analysis of festival samples will be used to show the types and relative scale of drug use at different events.


Cobus Gerber is Assoc Prof of Chemistry at the University of South Australia.  He leads the Population Health Chemistry research group which has a focus on wastewater-based epidemiology.  The group has been reporting on drug trends in South Australia for a decade and is a partner in the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program with QAEHS.



PACE Building, 20 Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba
Interaction Space (Room 4002)