Istanbul, anti drug operation

Study reveals which are the most widely used drugs in Istanbul

Istanbul is 2nd behind Barcelona in cannabis use, mainly on the European side. Asian districts lead the consumption of synthetic drugs.

A group of Turkish researchers has carried out a study on sewage to reveal which are the most widely used drugs in Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey, and which shows that cannabis is the most widely used narcotic substance, ahead of the methamphetamine and heroin.

The study, even published in the international journal Water Research, is based on the examination of samples from 14 wastewater treatment plants in the Turkish metropolis; the research was conducted between March and December 2020, and in addition to drug use, it also includes alcohol and tobacco use.

According to the results of this study, which were published this week in the Turkish press, Istanbul ranks second behind Barcelona in cannabis use in a ranking of large cities, such as Amsterdam or New York; precisely, Istanbul also ranks second behind New York in heroin use.

Data from the study show that districts on the European side of Istanbul lead in cannabis use, with Büyükçekmece, Avcılar and Çatalca leading in marijuana use; Esenyurt, also on the European shore of the city, is in turn leading the Turkish metropolis in heroin use.

The Asian side of Istanbul leads the consumption of synthetic drugs

The Asian side of Istanbul stands out for the use of synthetic drugs; for example Üsküdar leads the ranking of districts of Istanbul for ecstasy use (MDMA), followed by Ataşehir and Ümraniye, according to the study, which also shows that in general the consumption of narcotic substances increases during the summer months.

Despite this study on which are the most widely drugs used in Istanbul, there are no official statistics on the rate of drug use among the population of Turkey; however, a police report published in 2019 revealed that in 2018, a total of 658 people died in the country from drug abuse, mainly from consumption of so-called designer drugs.