Imagine you’re in a good restaurant and you order a trout. The dish comes and upon eating it you get the best high of your life. Why? well, the fish you ate was already high on meth before it was captured. Wastewater from industries and pollutants are affecting the ecosystem of lakes and oceans greatly. Now you may be asking yourself that can fish even get high? Well, that’s what these researchers were trying to find out.
A new study has come out that was testing if fish could be affected by drugs whether legal or illegal. Their choice of drug was methamphetamine and the results were pretty shocking. People in the industry need to know just what effect their actions are having on marine organisms and studies like these are among the ways researchers can spread awareness.
The study came from scientists at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, who expanded their previous research on marine life and the effects of pollutants on them. They started to examine the impacts of methamphetamine when it was used to contaminate water. The team isolated a brown trout in a water tank with the same amount of methamphetamine that could be found in freshwater rivers.
The fish was exposed to the contaminated waters for a period of eight weeks. To check whether the fish really had been affected by the drug, the team transferred it to a freshwater tank and presented the fish with a choice of remaining in freshwater or returning to the water contaminated with meth. The experiment was repeated every second day for 10 days. According to study author Pavel Horký “The elicitation of drug addiction in wild fish could represent another example of unexpected pressure on species living in urban environments”.
The results showed that the fish was indeed addicted to the drug after having spent eight weeks in the contaminated tank. The fish continued to pursue the drug for 4 days straight. The scientists also observed that the fish were also less active than a regular group of trout and even found evidence of the drug in their brains even after 10 days of their removal. This addiction could cause fish to travel to wastewater areas for a fix of meth thus making these fish unhealthy for consumption.
The research was published in the journal, Journal of Experimental Biology.