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Chinese police began to check sewage for drug traffickers and drug addicts

“Big Brother” got to the sewers.

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The Chinese police began to check the sewage to find evidence of illegal production and use of drugs. To do this, use a special technology that can find traces of the use of narcotic substances in the sewer.

According to chemist Li Xiging (Li Xiging) from Peking University, equipment for the analysis of sewage began to use police “in dozens” of Chinese cities. He noted that the method has already shown results: the police began to conduct arrests.

The scientists noted that at first WBE technology (wastewater-based epidemiology) was not intended for the police. It was used for research: with the help of WBE, the level of drug use in cities was measured. According to scientists, between 2013 and 2015, when the Chinese authorities began to fight drugs, methamphetamine use of cities fell by 42%, and ketamine was used 67% less.

Sicin said that the Chinese authorities have invested about $ 1.5 million in WBE projects. He hopes that technology will become the standard in the fight against drug trafficking. Now WBE also plans to use it in the United States to combat opioid dependence.

The experience and lessons learned from the use of technology by the Chinese police in everyday life will be very important for other countries.

Li Xicin
scientist of Peking University, co-author of WBE technology
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