True or False: Tennessee police warn flushing drugs could create “Meth-gators”

True, sort of. A Facebook post from the Loretto, TN police department asked residents to please refrain from flushing drugs for risk of contaminating the water supply and creating hyper-aggressive “Meth-gators.”

The Story

After a recent drug bust on a Loretto home, officers found the resident attempting to flush methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia down the toilet. The department decided to take this moment as a time to remind residents of the dangers of flushing drugs. The water department attempts to clean all sewage and water as best they can. However, “they aren’t really prepared for meth,” the post said. 

The post went on to discuss the risks to water animals such as water fowl, birds, and… Alligators. “If it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River. They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help. So, if you need to dispose of your drugs just give us a call. We will make sure they are disposed of in the proper way,” the department said. 

A Skeptical Biologist Weighs In

However, a biologist interviewed about this statement had never heard of meth affecting alligator populations. “I would guess they might be affected by it, but they tend to not react to drugs in the same way we do, and I don’t know if it would take a little or a lot to get an alligator to do something on meth,” the biologist said.

Why Flushing Drugs is Bad & Safe Disposal Options

The police department have since retracted their statement, and “Meth-gators” are not a real phenomenon. However, flushing drugs like methamphetamine is a bad idea. Most water treatment centers are not capable of filtering drugs and medications. Studies have shown that medications and other substances flushed down the drain can contaminate local water supply. These substances can affect rivers, streams, and wind up in our drinking water. Furthermore, the environmental impact of flushing drugs and medicines can affect our wildlife. Reports have found that antidepressants and hormones such as birth control can cause hormonal and reproductive disruption in aquatic creatures such as fish and frogs. 

If you want to dispose of your stash and get clean, throw it in the trash or ask someone you trust for help. If you fear you may still attempt to use your stash if it is in the garbage, some sources suggest crushing or destroying the substance. You can then mix the substance with something unpleasant like cat litter or dirt and dispose of it.

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