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Free Content Sewage-based Epidemiology Requires a Truly Transdisciplinary Approach

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If asked whether you had consumed illicit drugs recently, would you admit it? If yes, could you precisely recall types of drug, times and amounts used? If you were the person commissioned with the task of quantifying drug use, what approach would you use given the social stigma attached with such behavior? We measure drug residues in sewage, which represents urine of entire populations, to provide an objective estimate of total drug use in a region. In transdisciplinary projects, sewage-based results provide valuable information at unrivaled spatiotemporal resolution complementing traditional data.

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Keywords: DRUGS OF ABUSE; ILLICIT DRUGS; PUBLIC HEALTH; SEWAGE; TRANSDISCIPLINARITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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