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  • Writer's pictureColin Choi

Trout Addicted to Methamphetamine in Waterways

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

Waterways throughout the globe are continuously being polluted, with one of the main contaminants being drugs, including prescription drugs along with illegal ones. One of the more prominent illegal ones is methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth. A study conducted by researchers in the Czech Republic determined that crystal meth is turning brown trout into drug addicts.

The researchers ran an experiment in which 120 juvenile brown trout were split into two groups of 60, with each group of 60 having its own tank. One tank was laced with methamphetamine and one was left drug free. After letting the fish sit in their respective tanks for eight weeks, the researchers moved the fish to a larger drug-free aquarium. The researchers then gave the fish the option of staying in clean water or moving to a contaminated tank. According to the authors of the study, fish that were in the clean and drug-free water spent approximately 41.5% of their time in the water with methamphetamine, while the fish that spent time in the methamphetamine spent 50.5% of their time in the water with drugs.

Dr Pavel Horký, co-author of the study from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, also said that "amphetamine was only identified in brain tissue of exposed trout". In addition to this, the study found that "addicted fish were also found to be less active than trout that had never experienced the drug."

Drugs reach these waterways for the most part by improper disposal by humans, which is why it is important for people to be aware of how to properly dispose of prescription medications and other drugs.

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