New research shows that the Belgian city of Antwerp's waste water contains the highest cocaine levels of 21 European cities measured, pipping London and Amsterdam.
According to the preliminary findings of a study yet to be published, the west Belgian city was Europe's biggest user of the drug, "just" beating the readings of London and Amsterdam, Antwerp University researcher Alexander Van Nuijs was quoted as telling the Dutch-language Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper.
"We scanned the used water of 21 European cities for traces of cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, heroin and methadone," he said.
"The results will only be announced later in the year, but I can say that Antwerp, of all the cities, had the highest cocaine reading."
There was a "very big" difference between the cocaine levels measured in the sewage water of Antwerp and that of Scandinavian cities, the researcher added.