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London and Antwerp are the most coked up cities in Europe

Londoners do more cocaine on weekdays than other Europeans, according to a new sewer study

Antwerp has pipped London to the post as the most coked up city in Europe, according to a new study. 

The results, which were pulled from an analysis of the continent’s sewer systems, show that residents of the Belgian city do more cocaine than any other Europeans – hitting, on average, 914.8mg per 1,000 people per day. Londoners came a close second at 894.9mg.

However, while the UK capital might not be leading in terms of overall average, it does beat all other European cities when it comes to weekday use. According to the figures, Londoners take more cocaine throughout the week than even Belgians: averaging 790.5mg per 1,000 people per day.

“Traces of cocaine in wastewater indicate that cocaine use is highest in western and southern European cities, particularly in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK,” explained The EU’s European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which published the results. “The analysis points to very low to negligible cocaine use in the majority of eastern European cities.”

The tests, taken in March, looked at the sewers of 50 European cities in 18 different countries, with the wastewater being tested for any remnants of the drug. The weekday results cover Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s findings, while the weekend covers what was found on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. In an interview with The Guardian yesterday, researcher Leon Barrer of Kings College explained why.

“If you think about cocaine, the maximum concentration that you will excrete in your urine will take about two hours or so for that to come out,” he said. “For its metabolites, it’s a bit longer: it’s six hours before they will find their way out of the system, and so there’s a little bit of a lag period for the cocaine because of the metabolism of the drug.”

“You can still see the cocaine lingering around on the Monday and the Tuesday because we are measuring the metabolites of the drug,” he added. “You might have taken it on the Sunday or the Saturday but it’s bleeding through to the Monday. So the definition of the weekend is a little odd but it’s because of the time it takes for the body to excrete out the drug once it’s taken.”

In the last three tests of this kind, London has topped the charts for cocaine use – with this year being the first since 2013 that it’s fallen behind. But hey: at least it’s good news for our brains, skin and teeth, national suicide rates and social skills.