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Author Topic: A Teaspoon of Urine to Gauge a City's Drug Use. Fascinating  (Read 1604 times)
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ATB
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« on: August 22, 2007, 12:25:17 PM »

The gist is that a teaspoon of wastewater is a good indicator of the drug use of a city.

Highlights:

Nearly every drug legal and illicit that people take leaves the body. That waste goes into toilets and then into wastewater treatment plants.

One urban area with a gambling industry had meth levels more than five times higher than other cities.


The ingredient Americans consume and excrete the most was caffeine.   Not surprising, but it is a bit disturbing that so many of us (myself included at times) are dependent on artificial stimuli to get through the day.

One fairly affluent community scored low for illicit drugs except for cocaine.

Cocaine and ecstasy tended to peak on weekends and drop on weekdays, while methamphetamine and prescription drugs were steady throughout the week.
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 02:21:05 PM »

First!

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 12:25:17 PM

The ingredient Americans consume and excrete the most was caffeine.   Not surprising, but it is a bit disturbing that so many of us (myself included at times) are dependent on artificial stimuli to get through the day.

whatever happened to slapping yourself in the face and yelling 'buck up soldier!' when you find yourself nodding off?  I barely touch the stuff anymore except for the occasional Honest Tea.
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 02:29:16 PM »

I love coffee.  I enjoy the little boost from it, but I drink it mostly because of the flavor.  But I've also become a coffee snob- now it's hard for me to enjoy a cup of coffee from just anywhere (it's usually burnt or watery.  Or both).
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2007, 03:29:09 PM »

All those drugs go back into the water at some point, along with soaps, and do magical things to fish and plants.
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2007, 03:45:17 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on August 22, 2007, 03:29:09 PM

All those drugs go back into the water at some point, along with soaps, and do magical things to fish and plants.

mmmmmm.... magical fish.......  drool
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2007, 03:47:25 PM »

Howwwdy Ho! Your reckin my eco-system

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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2007, 03:48:38 PM »

wow Damage, that gives me an idea......  thanks!
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2007, 04:05:45 PM »

Interesting article.

I bet it's not fun dealing with that sample though.
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2007, 04:16:01 PM »

I don't drink anything with caffiene in it, but unfrotunately chocolate has caffiene which I have to admit I enjoy.
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2007, 05:44:11 PM »

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 12:25:17 PM

[

The ingredient Americans consume and excrete the most was caffeine.   Not surprising, but it is a bit disturbing that so many of us (myself included at times) are dependent on artificial stimuli to get through the day.
I'm not dependent. I just like the way it tastes.
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2007, 06:07:21 PM »

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 12:25:17 PM

The ingredient Americans consume and excrete the most was caffeine.   Not surprising, but it is a bit disturbing that so many of us (myself included at times) are dependent on artificial stimuli to get through the day.

About a month ago, I decided to go cold turkey from caffeine. Three days into it I was rushed to the ER with heart palpitations/extremely elevated heart rate. The physicial effects I experienced when going off caffeine were much, much worse than the withdrawal symptons from when I stopped smoking. When I started, I thought it would be a relatively minor lifestyle change. It's not. It's had an impact in almost every aspect of my life (especially trying to concentrate for extended periods at work). The effects of caffeine on the body are relatively benign, but it is one hell of a drug. 
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2007, 06:09:37 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on August 22, 2007, 06:07:21 PM

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 12:25:17 PM

The ingredient Americans consume and excrete the most was caffeine.   Not surprising, but it is a bit disturbing that so many of us (myself included at times) are dependent on artificial stimuli to get through the day.

About a month ago, I decided to go cold turkey from caffeine. Three days into it I was rushed to the ER with heart palpitations/extremely elevated heart rate. The physicial effects I experienced when going off caffeine were much, much worse than the withdrawal symptons from when I stopped smoking. When I started, I thought it would be a relatively minor lifestyle change. It's not. It's had an impact in almost every aspect of my life (especially trying to concentrate for extended periods at work). The effects of caffeine on the body are relatively benign, but it is one hell of a drug. 

Jeez... how much caffine do you take?  As for me, aside from coffee (and an occasional cup of tea), I drink water all the time.  I also avoid candy, so I think my overall intake is pretty low.
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2007, 06:32:36 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on August 22, 2007, 06:09:37 PM

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on August 22, 2007, 06:07:21 PM

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 12:25:17 PM

The ingredient Americans consume and excrete the most was caffeine.   Not surprising, but it is a bit disturbing that so many of us (myself included at times) are dependent on artificial stimuli to get through the day.

About a month ago, I decided to go cold turkey from caffeine. Three days into it I was rushed to the ER with heart palpitations/extremely elevated heart rate. The physicial effects I experienced when going off caffeine were much, much worse than the withdrawal symptons from when I stopped smoking. When I started, I thought it would be a relatively minor lifestyle change. It's not. It's had an impact in almost every aspect of my life (especially trying to concentrate for extended periods at work). The effects of caffeine on the body are relatively benign, but it is one hell of a drug. 

Jeez... how much caffine do you take?  As for me, aside from coffee (and an occasional cup of tea), I drink water all the time.  I also avoid candy, so I think my overall intake is pretty low.

I'd say I would drink about half a pot of coffee (5-6 cups) over the course of the day until 3:00 PM, and every once in a while (not every day) I would drink a caffeinated soda. I stopped drinking caffeine at 3:00 because if I drank it during the evening I wouldn't be able to sleep. To be fair, though, the reason I quit drinking caffeine was because I was stressed out over a family tragedy and I don't know how much that magnified my withdrawal symptoms. I will say that I didn't have any physical symptoms like heart palpitations until a few days after I went cold turkey.

Somewhat humorously (now), the ER referred me to a cardiologist. By the time my appointment rolled around, I was feeling much better and was contemplating canceling my appointment, but went just to be on the safe side. I think I was the youngest patient in the waiting room by at least 30 years. When I finally saw the doctor, he took one look at me and said that I was probably fine but based on the results of the EKG at the ER he wanted to run a bunch of tests. They hooked me up to a portable heart monitor that I had to wear for twenty-four hours. I freaked out my girlfriend when I came home with that thing hooked up to my chest.

I just got my results back yesterday and, as I expected (although I'm no less thankful), everything came back normal.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 06:38:53 PM by Andrew Mallon » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2007, 08:00:26 PM »

I'm guessing that it would be more tragedy related than caffeine related.

While half a pot sounds like hellah much coffee, I don't know that that's unusual as coffee consumption goes for coffee drinkers.

Of course I'm not one so I don't know.
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2007, 08:18:46 PM »

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 08:00:26 PM

I'm guessing that it would be more tragedy related than caffeine related.

While half a pot sounds like hellah much coffee, I don't know that that's unusual as coffee consumption goes for coffee drinkers.

Of course I'm not one so I don't know.

Heart palps aren't uncommon during caffeine withdrawal, although not everyone gets them. In my case, I would guess that you're right in the sense that the stress probably amplified the effects. There were a few times (just before I went to the ER), where I literally thought I was moments away from a heart attack. That was one of the most frightening moments in my life. Scary enough to keep me from using caffeine since then.
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2007, 08:38:19 PM »

Quote from: ATB on August 22, 2007, 08:00:26 PM

I'm guessing that it would be more tragedy related than caffeine related.

While half a pot sounds like hellah much coffee, I don't know that that's unusual as coffee consumption goes for coffee drinkers.

Of course I'm not one so I don't know.
Caffeine is a lot stronger than people realize.
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2007, 09:04:33 PM »

there is caffine in more than just coffee.

Pepsi, Coke, etc also have it.  Just think about some kids you know and how much soda they drink that isn't caffeine free.
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2007, 09:16:03 PM »

My last year of high school, I was taking a lot of caffine pills to stay away (lots of stuff to study for, reports to write, etc).  Eventually it caught up, I thought I was going to have a heart attack- my heart was beating crazy fast and wouldn't slow down.  Fortunately my mother let me stay home from school, I fell asleep eventually, and all was good (well, physically.  Staying home ended up screwing up some of my school crap, but whatever).
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2007, 09:16:45 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on August 22, 2007, 03:29:09 PM

All those drugs go back into the water at some point, along with soaps, and do magical things to fish and plants.

I swear I read an article in the past year that claimed certain health problems fish were having in a metro area stream was caused by huge amounts of estrogen being pissed out by all the women in the city on birth control.  It was actually a fascinating article, but for the life of me I cannot find it now.  It's amazing (in a sad way) to see what far reaching impact people have on the local bio-system. 
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2007, 10:58:41 PM »

i'd be curious to see what non-mainstream drugs are getting into the system.  stuff noone expects to see, like horse tranquilizers.

pretty interesting method of testing a city. 

you would think that it would be fairly easy to identify various levels against known populations and approximate a ratio based on that number.  it would be helpful to see how the levels fluctuate during heavy tourism months and see what it does to the ratios. 

damn, i should have been a science geek.
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2007, 11:46:48 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on August 22, 2007, 09:16:03 PM

My last year of high school, I was taking a lot of caffine pills to stay away

You needed pills to help you skip school? Man you must have been a nerrr errrd!

I just didn't go and hung out at the Dunkin Donuts or played Basketball.
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2007, 02:25:38 AM »

LOL, "stay awake"...

I was a nerd though.  Well, more of a goody-two-shoes, in a way (at least in school), since I used to drink all the time and stay out late with friends.  I only cut class one day (half a day, actually), and I got bitched at by the principal for it.  People I knew cut class all the damn time.  What a rip off.
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2007, 05:27:51 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on August 23, 2007, 02:25:38 AM

LOL, "stay awake"...

I was a nerd though.  Well, more of a goody-two-shoes, in a way (at least in school), since I used to drink all the time and stay out late with friends.  I only cut class one day (half a day, actually), and I got bitched at by the principal for it.  People I knew cut class all the damn time.  What a rip off.

I ended up with a gym class that was taught by a teacher that I could not get along with, so I ended up cutting almost a whole year of it.  They kept giving me detentions but I never went either.
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2007, 01:51:38 PM »

Quote from: Interloper on August 22, 2007, 09:16:45 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on August 22, 2007, 03:29:09 PM

All those drugs go back into the water at some point, along with soaps, and do magical things to fish and plants.

I swear I read an article in the past year that claimed certain health problems fish were having in a metro area stream was caused by huge amounts of estrogen being pissed out by all the women in the city on birth control.  It was actually a fascinating article, but for the life of me I cannot find it now.  It's amazing (in a sad way) to see what far reaching impact people have on the local bio-system. 

Not just birth control mate. There is estrogen in chicken these days because they pump the chickens full of it to make them plump. Really there is estrogen in a lot of foods where it doesn't belong. It's part of the cause behind the obesity problem now - estrogen is a growth hormone that promotes a higher % of body fat. And in humans body fat results in the production of estrogen. It is a vicious cycle.
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2007, 01:52:12 PM »

Also to add, when I finally got my wife to give up the diet sodas, she had big-time caffeine withdrawal. Headaches, nausea. It wasn't pretty.
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2007, 02:12:01 PM »

Chickens are turning us into chicks?   eek

oh, and:

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« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2007, 06:01:02 PM »

Quote from: Crux on August 23, 2007, 01:52:12 PM

Also to add, when I finally got my wife to give up the diet sodas, she had big-time caffeine withdrawal. Headaches, nausea. It wasn't pretty.

It could have also been caused by the artificial sweetner.  Nutrasweet is really bad stuff.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2007, 02:32:29 PM »

Quote from: Crux on August 23, 2007, 01:51:38 PM

Quote from: Interloper on August 22, 2007, 09:16:45 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on August 22, 2007, 03:29:09 PM

All those drugs go back into the water at some point, along with soaps, and do magical things to fish and plants.

I swear I read an article in the past year that claimed certain health problems fish were having in a metro area stream was caused by huge amounts of estrogen being pissed out by all the women in the city on birth control.  It was actually a fascinating article, but for the life of me I cannot find it now.  It's amazing (in a sad way) to see what far reaching impact people have on the local bio-system. 

Not just birth control mate. There is estrogen in chicken these days because they pump the chickens full of it to make them plump. Really there is estrogen in a lot of foods where it doesn't belong. It's part of the cause behind the obesity problem now - estrogen is a growth hormone that promotes a higher % of body fat. And in humans body fat results in the production of estrogen. It is a vicious cycle.

Actually, the USDA prohibits the use of hormones, including estrogen, in raising poultry and pigs. 
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2007, 03:15:21 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on August 24, 2007, 02:32:29 PM

Actually, the USDA prohibits the use of hormones, including estrogen, in raising poultry and pigs. 

Like anyone pays attention to what THOSE guys have to say.

Actually, does that also apply to imported goods?
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« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2007, 02:20:54 AM »

I always thought Teaspoon of Urine would be a good band name.
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« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2007, 03:44:48 AM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on August 29, 2007, 02:20:54 AM

I always thought Teaspoon of Urine would be a good band name.
or a good production company.  Imagine it, A Teaspoon of Urine Productions.
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« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2007, 05:33:28 AM »

Quote from: Andrew Mallon
Heart palps aren't uncommon during caffeine withdrawal, although not everyone gets them. In my case, I would guess that you're right in the sense that the stress probably amplified the effects. There were a few times (just before I went to the ER), where I literally thought I was moments away from a heart attack. That was one of the most frightening moments in my life. Scary enough to keep me from using caffeine since then.

I had a similar one at work around the time I stopped drinking caffeine too. It hit, my left arm hurt a bit, I got dizzy.. I thought I was actually having a heart attack. By the time the EMT's showed up I had basically recovered except for a really weird influx of energy, almost like an adrenaline shot.

Went to the doctor the next day.. they ran all kinds of crazy tests. Asked me if that day was any different than others. I had a list:

1. Dropped caffeine two days before
2. It happened at 5pm. I hadn't eaten since 9 the previous night. When I got home from work (after 1:30am) I crashed and slept until it was time to go into work. Then the first few hours were crazy and I didn't have time to stop and grab something to eat.
3. Also hadn't had anything to drink except one glass of tea since that same time the night before.

According to the doctor the sudden stoppage of caffeine plus the lack of food, water, and hauling ass in 90 to 100 degree weather for a few hours just wore on me. Said normally he would have said heat stroke, but I apparantly showed none of the signs.

Anywho, lesson learned. I'm a big water drinker now.
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