Italian river runs high with cocaine

2019-03-02 04:01:02

THE waters of Italy’s largest river have betrayed the secrets of people who live in its valley. A new sampling technique has uncovered cocaine abuse that dwarfs official estimates in the region surrounding the River Po in north-west Italy. The equivalent of about 4 kilograms of cocaine flowed in the river each day, say researchers from Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, and the University of Insubria in Varese. The team, led by Ettore Zuccato, used mass spectrometry to compare ratios of cocaine and its breakdown product, benzoylecgonine,