I’ve never really considered the idea that an animal could be a drug addict, but a new study from over at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague is claiming that if there’s a bunch of methamphetamine in the water then fish can become addicted to it.
Pavel Horky is a behavioural ecologist and led the study by putting 40 brown trout in a tank of water containing a level of methamphetamine that has previously been found in freshwater rivers, whilst a further 40 trout were used as a control group. After eight weeks, the fish were moved to a new tank and then given the option of swimming in water containing the drug or not containing it.
The trout that had been bathing in the methamphetamine water would always return to it and the study argued that this showed withdrawal symptoms in the animals as they would choose the drug whenever it was available. Here’s what Horky had to say about the research:
Fish are sensitive to adverse effects of many neurologically active drugs from alcohol to cocaine and can develop drug addiction related to the dopamine reward pathway in a similar manner as humans.
Addiction could lead to fish spending more time around water treatment areas in order to get another hit.
Such effects could change the functioning of whole ecosystems as adverse consequences are of relevance at the individual as well as population levels.
These issues could affect natural processes such as mating and foraging.
Current research from teams around the world undoubtedly shows their adverse impact on ecosystems, which in turn can influence humans.
I guess this is kind of important then? If you’re wondering why this study was even commissioned in the first place, it’s because apparently meth and other drugs are ending up in the water supply all the time because they’re excreted through drug users and water treatment plants aren’t set up to deal with these containments. Not only is that pretty gross and awful, but now this study has confirmed that it’s also fucking up the fish and their natural ecology.
Another wonderful example of how humans are completely screwing up the entire planet. Will it ever end?
For more of the same, check out what Gladiators star Cobra had to say about his sordid drug use. Kinda an animal who was addicted to drugs too?