Top preference for Cypriot illicit drug users is cocaine whose consumption in coastal Limassol increased five-fold between 2013 and 2016.
Cocaine use in Nicosia, the capital, also marked an increase during those same years but only a slight one, according to an international scientific study.
University of Cyprus’ Nireas International Water Research Centre was a contributor to the ‘Spatio‐temporal assessment of illicit drug use at large scale: evidence from 7 years of international wastewater monitoring’.
The study also shows that methamphetamine is the second most popular narcotic substance in Cyprus, followed by amphetamine and MDMA – better known as ecstasy. Limassol leads the way in all illicit drugs consumption.
The international assessment of illicit drug use scenario in European cities, including Cyprus, through the analysis of residues of five selected illicit drugs began in 2012.
The selected drugs were cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine, methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in raw wastewater.
In Cyprus, samples were taken from the Limassol-Amathus urban wastewater treatment plant and from Anthoupolis plant in Nicosia.
Cocaine had the highest consumption per 1,000 people per day, based on the data collected from the two urban wastewater treatment plants over a period of three to four years.
Specifically, cocaine consumption in Limassol increased rapidly between 2013 and 2016 – from 31.5 mg to 153.5 mg, respectively. Cocaine consumption in Nicosia remained lower and more stable – from 61.0 mg to 81.5 mg between 2013 and 2016.
In addition, based on consumption data from 2013 to 2017, methamphetamine had the second highest consumption per 1,000 people per day between 2013 and 2017, followed by amphetamine.
Methamphetamine levels are increasing with every new year in Limassol. Specifically, consumption level in 2013 was 7.9 mg but increased by 10 times in 2017 reaching 88.0 mg.
In Nicosia, methamphetamine consumption is also on the rise but at lower levels than in Limassol – ranging from 1.5 mg in 2013 to 43.8 mg in 2017.