Wastewater-based epidemiological determination of drugs discharged at the rest areas and truck servicing facilities during federal holidays in the U.S.

Project Abstract

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a higher motor vehicle traffic crashes during holiday than non-holiday periods from 1982-2019. The drug involved traffic fatalities during six major holidays in the U.S. (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) were significantly higher than in a typical day in 2019. In this study, the amount of several discharged drugs focusing on illicit stimulants but also including opioids and prescription antipsychotics were measured in raw wastewater collected from five rest areas and two truck servicing facilities along the interstate highways in Kentucky during major holidays. Three stimulants (cocaine, methamphetamine, and amphetamine), two opioids (hydrocodone and tramadol), THC metabolite, and four antidepressants (venlafaxine, citalopram, fluoxetine, and sertraline) were detected in all of the collected wastewater samples. Wastewater-based epidemiological estimation of average mass load of several drugs during annual holidays were significantly higher than a typical day. Despite higher drug-involved traffic incidents along the interstate highways during holidays, this report represents the first comprehensive and quantitative report of drugs discharged during holidays and non-holidays at the rest areas along the interstate highways.


Conference name (full, no abbreviations): American Chemical Society National Meeting

Dates: August 21 - 25

Sponsoring body: Environmental Chemistry Division of American Chemical Society

Conference website: https://acs.digitellinc.com/acs/live/28/page/905

Funding Type

Travel Grant

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology




B.S. Biology




Bikram Subedi

Academic College

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

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