Cocaine, notorious as one of the most powerful addictive stimulant drugs with a potential for wreaking havoc on the users’ life, has been damaging another sub-class of the food chain — silver eels. A recent study has found that critically endangered silver eels have trouble mating and reproducing when high on cocaine found in drug-contaminated river water. This process is further threatening the very existence of the species.
To study the effect of the raised cocaine levels on the silver eels, some samples from the endangered species were placed in water that had the same amount of cocaine as found in the rivers. The eels exposed to the contaminated water “appeared hyperactive” after 50 days compared to the eels in the normal water.
A previous analysis of 50 European cities had found that the wastewater of London had the highest per capita levels of cocaine. According to the study, 5 percent of the consumed cocaine ended up in the sewage system, eventually draining out into the water bodies like rivers and other waterways. The contaminated water was responsible for making the eels hyperactive and unsettling their reproductive cycles.
Cocaine spells trouble for both animals and humans
The governments and people in general are striving to control drug abuse because of the ostensible damage it causes; however, not many are aware of the collateral damage it causes to the environment through wastewater channels.
The drug-exposed eels had cocaine deposits in their muscles, brains, gills and skin, and displayed signs of serious wounds like swelling and muscle breakdown. Further, heightened dopamine levels hindered their ability to reach sexual maturity. The drug also increased their cortisone levels which prevented them from developing the crucial levels of fat required for their journey to breed across the Atlantic.
Moreover, they did not show any signs of recovery after being removed from the cocaine-tainted water even after 10 days. According to lead author Dr. Anna Capaldo, a professor with the University of Naples, the study showed that even low concentrations of cocaine hampered the normal functioning of silver eels like reproduction.
Cocaine addiction a menace in US
The study is an eye-opener for all countries at large, specifically the United States which is among the largest consumers of cocaine. The World Drug Report of 2018 revealed that almost 18 percent of the cocaine seizures around the world in 2016 were made in the U.S. Despite being an illegal drug in the country, nearly 1.9 million people aged 12 years and above use cocaine in America, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
Cocaine adversely impacts the physical and mental health of the user. It impairs the users’ brain functioning, preventing them from making sound decisions or recognizing the undesirable consequences of any wrong decision. Moreover, persistent use of cocaine or addiction to it can lead to other complications, such as loss of olfactory functions, malnourishment, problems in swallowing, onset of disorders like Parkinson’s disease and an increased risk of an overdose.
Treating cocaine addiction is possible
Addiction to cocaine can be treated with timely medical intervention. If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction or a dependence on any other drug, it is time to introduce them to an expert treatment center.
Sovereign Health is a distinguished cocaine addiction treatment center with facilities spread throughout the United States. We offer specialized cocaine detoxification and other evidence-based cocaine addiction treatment programs. For more information on our treatment programs or to locate our nearest cocaine rehab center, call at our 24/7 helpline number (855)-683-9756 or chat live with our representative today.