Italian scientists have discovered that the river Po contains the remains of the consumption of more than 4kg of cocaine daily - equivalent to an annual snow festival of 1,500kg per year among the Po valley's five million inhabitants.
The point of all the numbers - published in the net's Environmental Health by a team from the Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan - is that consumption of charlie in the region is much higher than previously thought. Indeed, the authorities had estimated the daily inhalation of nose candy at 27 doses (100mg) per 1,000 young adults.
These figures have now been literally blown out of the water by the test for benzoylecgonine, a byproduct of the body metabolising cocaine which makes its way into the sewer system in the normal way, and thence to the river Po.
The investigative team described the findings as "staggering", which comes as a bit of a surprise since the river Po benefits from the presence of world fashion capital Milan - generally considered to have the greatest percentage of anorexic models among its population and therefore the planet's highest per capita consumption of Bolivian marching powder. ®