How can it be possible? It all starts with the 269 million people who use drugs each year. Many of them end up in the sewers, displaced by humans. And sometimes they find their way to rivers and coasts without ever having been treated. If released into the environment, these drugs can affect wildlife. And cause things like trout to become addicted to meth.
A study was conducted that was published in the journal Experimental Biology. It was carried out by scientists from the Czech Republic. They experimented with trout to see how drug addiction could affect them. One group of them was exposed to methamphetamine for 8 weeks. They were then transferred to fresh water tanks. There were interesting symptoms, like slow movements. Maybe a withdrawal product. It later turned out that they preferred waters with concentrations of active ingredients.
Why should we worry about meth addicted trout? There are many reasons. Fish may prefer to be near pipes where this sewage enters rivers or seas. You could lose motivation from doing other activities. For example, eat or multiply. Or avoid predators.
Another study found traces of illegal drugs in wildlife. In 2019, cocaine was found in freshwater shrimp. They searched 15 different rivers.
People leave drugs in the garbage. Medicines and other chemicals too. These drugs can change the behavior of wildlife. However, this problem is potentially more complex and widespread. The rebuilding of the waterworks in England and Wales is estimated at US $ 50 billion. Only then could they remove these chemicals.
Could other chemicals in household products have similar effects? The amount of medication in water sources should be controlled. And the drinking water companies have to take on more responsibility. Otherwise we’ll have crazy things like this in the wild: drug addicted fish.