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Fish are getting addicted to meth as illegal drugs pollute water bodies: Study

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    14th Jul, 2021


In an alarming study from the Czech Republic, scientists have found that freshwater fish are becoming addicted to methamphetamine due to the accumulation of illegal drugs in water bodies.

Key-highlights of the findings

  • Even low levels of illicit drugs in waterways can affect fish and other animals.
  • Illegal drugs like methamphetamine (meth) can also accumulate in waterways.
  • Less active: Fish gets addicted to the drug and become less active after exposure.
  • Disturbed natural tempo of life: The drug addiction could drive fish to congregate near unhealthy water treatment discharges in search of a fix, as well as disturbing their natural tempo of life.


  • Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.
  • Methamphetamine increases the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the brain.
    • Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcement of rewarding behaviours. 
  • It increases wakefulness and physical activity, decreased appetite, faster breathing, rapid and/or irregular heartbeat