Man, I wanna party with those shrimp! What shrimp you ask? The shrimp that researchers say they are finding trace amounts of cocaine in. I’m not saying I need to do coke with the shrimp, I’m just wondering what the cokey-shrimp taste like. I’m also wondering what the scene at Red Lobster would look like during Shrimpfest if the little morsels of fried and grilled goodness were laced with cocaine.
So, let’s back up a second, in case you hadn’t heard. A study was conducted on how much human drugs of contaminated nature.
To carry out their study published in the journal Environment International, scientists collected shrimp samples in July 2018 from 15 sites across five river catchments in the non-metropolitan county of Suffolk on the east coast of England, U.K.. These included Gipping, Alde, Deben, Stour and Waveney. (Newsweek)
Coke was found in every single shrimp they tested, as well as the anesthetic that’s often used in the production of it. Anyone who has seen “Finding Nemo” knows that all drains lead to the sea. Okay, that’s not 100% true of course, but the researchers believe that a big reason all those shkramps were little Charlie Sheens is that, essentially, the cocaine made it to the ocean through the sewer system.
Cocaine was the most commonly found drug and identified in every sample, as well as the anesthetic lidocaine. This is often used by dealers to bulk up the cocaine, according to the study authors. The scientists believe cocaine could have entered the water because of leakages or overflows from sewers.
The War on Drugs was and is completely useless and stupid. And, well, call me crazy if you want to…but I kinda feel like the fact that we have shrimp testing positive for cocaine means that we’re not remotely close to stopping people from using it recreationally. On top of that, coke wasn’t the only drug that they found in the shrimp either.
Ketamine, the animal tranquilizer which is used as a party drug, was also identified, as well as the opioid medication Tramadol and an antidepressant.
As a comedian, the image of a bunch of coked up and K’d-out shrimp having a party under the sea like Ariel and Sebastian is pretty great. Then again, as someone who cares about the ecosystem I leave behind for my children, it’s a little less funny to me. Don’t get me wrong, compared to other environmental threats, drug-laced shrimp are less concerning, but if nothing else this story serves as an important reminder that a) we have a direct impact on the environment we live in and b) what you flush can end up in what you eat later.
Researchers didn’t just find party drugs in the shrimp, either. They also found trace elements of banned pesticides. Finding some drugs in sealife near big urban centers apparently wasn’t the cause for concern with the scientists who did the study. It’s the fact that they found it out in the rural areas too that made them worried.
Dr. Thomas Miller lead author of the study at King’s College London commented: “Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife.
The good news is that while the most commonly found contaminants were recreational drugs, Miller doesn’t think the amounts are high enough to register any effects.
“As part of our ongoing work, we found that the most frequently detected compounds were illicit drugs, including cocaine and ketamine and a banned pesticide, fenuron. Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low.”
Something tells me if they were higher in coke content, though, there’d be a major shortage of shrimp in and around California’s San Fernando Valley and on Wall Street.
Cover image via iStockphoto
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.