Police in Tennessee are warning residents to stop flushing methamphetamine, the drug more commonly known as “meth”, down the toilet for fear that alligators in the sewage system could ingest the drug to create hyped-up “meth-gators”.
In a round-up of recent drug seizures, the Loretto Police Department in the state recently reported on Facebook that it had served a search warrant at a home only to find suspect Andy Perry “attempting to flush methamphetamine along with several items of paraphernalia”.
They reported that Perry was unsuccessful, arrested and charged with schedule two drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence.
“On a more or less serious note, folks … please don’t flush your drugs, m’kay,” the police added, warning that “our sewer guys take great pride in releasing water that is cleaner than what is in the creek, but they are not really prepared for meth”.
The notice continued: “Ducks, geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do. Furthermore, if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama.”
“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 and we will make sure they are disposed of in the proper way.”
The warning about meth-gators is unusual but the Loretto police department is not the first issue warnings about animals and the use of legal or illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals.
A statement from US Food and Drug Administration’s commissioner Scott Gottlieb last August warned that pets, too, are at risk, but mostly because humans may be taking their pets’ medication for their own use.
Gottleib warned that two pet medications – Recuvyra, a fentanyl product, and Carfentanil, which is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, are no longer approved for use in animals.
“But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use,” Gottleib added.