Marin Health Officials Track Illicit Drug Use by Testing Wastewater
By: Lesley McClurg
Public health officials in Marin County are now tracking illicit drugs in local wastewater — everything from nicotine to methamphetamine and fentanyl. Testing sewer water can illustrate exactly what is “hot” and where, offering a more accurate picture of the drug crisis than simply counting overdoses.
“We know now that our clinical data sources just show us the tip of the iceberg of actual overdoses, because if someone doesn’t call 911, or doesn’t present to the emergency department, we might never hear about it,” said Dr. Haylea Hannah, an epidemiologist for Marin County.