2006_11_hudsonriver2.jpgThe Germans are so weird AND so clever! Der Spiegel reports that the Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in Nuremberg foraged various rivers in Europe and the U.S. to find the "substance produced by the human body during cocaine consumption." And when they hit the Hudson River, apparently the numbers were through the roof for consumption, when taking into account statistics for drug use:

For example in New York, IBMP teams searched the Hudson River and found the by-products of a projected cocaine consumption totaling 16.4 tons per year. There are approximately 3.4 million people aged 15 to 65 living in the Hudson's watershed. According to the United Nations "World Drug Report," 2.8 percent of Americans in this age group use cocaine at least once a year. That would mean that about 95,000 people are responsible for an annual consumption of 16.4 tons of pure cocaine -- a per capita rate of 172 grams per year.

But the "World Drug Report" says the average user, at least in Central and Western Europe, consumes only 35 grams of pure cocaine per year. Unless the appetite of the average American is considerably greater, present estimates of overall consumption are likely to be too low. Either there are more coke-heads than reflected by the official statistics, or they snort far more Charlie per year than yet realized.

And there's more. IBMP Director Fritz Sorgel says there are a number of further lessons provided by his study:
- Good news for Germany -- cocaine consumption has, according to his data -- stagnated.
- New York continues its reign as the Cocaine Capital of the World. One is almost tempted to upbraid them for wasting the stuff. Nowhere did researchers find as much pure cocaine as they did in the Hudson River.
- Europe is catching up in cocaine consumption, with Spain bravely leading the way. The British and Italians also display a ravenous appetite for blow.

Maybe the Hudson is actually a dumping ground for cocaine! We're not sure how reliable the study is, but one reason why the amount of cocaine consumption is so high in the NYC area: The city is a major drug trafficking corridor.