Meth in waterways could actually be turning trout into drug addicts
· Jul 8, 2021 ·

Ever notice that the trout are fighting extra hard these days?

Well, apparently that's because they're on meth…

Yes, scientists in the Czech Republic have discovered that one of our favorite fish to catch, trout, can become addicted to meth.

Drugs excreted from users pass through sewage systems and then discharge from wastewater treatment plants, which are not designed to treat this kind of contamination, into waterways.

Yes, you—college kid who just used prescription drugs to make it through an all-nighter—you're slightly responsible for this.

Check this out:

The team [of researchers] put 40 brown trout in a tank of water, containing a level of methamphetamine that has been found in freshwater rivers, for a period of eight weeks, before transferring them to a clean tank.

Then every other day the researchers checked whether the trout were suffering from methamphetamine withdrawal by giving them a choice between water containing the drug or water without. A further 40 trout were used as a control group.

Trout that had spent eight weeks in water containing methamphetamine selected water containing the drug in the four days after moving to freshwater.

This indicates they were suffering withdrawal because they sought out the drug when it became available, according to the researchers.

Okay, that's nuts!

Unfortunately, unlike my claim that the meth makes the trout pull harder, this exposure to methamphetamine actually makes the fish less active.

But you can understand why I would use that line above. Right? Please forgive me.

I am worried—yes, about the fish, but more when it comes to humans. Take a look at where we are with our drug-addicted culture (yes, alcohol counts). And then I want you to take in this next line however you see fit.

[Researchers worry] drug cravings could prove more powerful than natural rewards like foraging or mating.

We're having this negative impact on the environment when it comes to our drug intake and excrement, and it's affecting these fish.

But when you really think about it, in this situation, we're making the fish more like us. And that's leaving them lazy and dependent literally on water treatment plants for their next high.


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