Police Warn Against Flushing Drugs Down the Toilet and Creating Alabama "Meth Gators" | 22 Words

Remember the saying, "don't do drugs, kids?"

Well, it turns out that people really should have listened to that back in the day.

Of course, you shouldn't do drugs - period. They do nothing but fuel addictions, drain bank accounts, and, generally, turn lives upside down. But we've recently learned that drugs are now capable of causing something even more terrifying...

If you thought that regular, run-of-the-mill alligators were scary, it's time to think again. "Meth Gators" are now a thing, and it's all thanks to an illegal substance. Keep scrolling to learn more about this horrifying story...

The use of illegal drugs in the United States is at an all-time high.

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Recreational drug use here in the States continues to be a problem. According to statistics, an estimated 24.6 million people in the US have used some kind of illegal drug in the last thirty days.

Despite the use of certain drugs declining over the years...

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Statistics from the 2013 NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) showed that the use of marijuana was growing rapidly -  "In 2013, 5.7 million persons aged twleve or older used marijuana on a daily or almost daily basis" - and that the abuse of prescription drugs peaked at an alarming rate. These statistics have increased further in recent years.

But what about Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as "meth," is a commonly used illegal drug and many know of the substance from (let's be honest) the TV series, Breaking Bad. Well, that's how I learned what meth was, anyway...

The blue stuff isn't at all glamorous in reality...

Despite Breaking Bad being one of the greatest TV series of all time (in my opinion), meth is something not to be meddled with. Meth was created in 1893 by a Japanese scientist and was reportedly first used in World War II by Germany, England, America, and Japan to help soldiers fight fatigue; it gave them a boost of endurance.

Meth contains some extremely toxic ingredients.

The common ingredients of meth include acetone, hydrochloric acid, lithium, red phosphorus, and sulfuric acid. As one can imagine, all of these ingredients are highly flammable; they create toxic gasses and are known to burn and dissolve through pretty much any material - including human skin.

Meth addiction is no joke.

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Meth is a highly addictive substance, and addicts can very quickly build a tolerance to it. It creates a myriad of social, emotional, physical, and behavioral issues. When someone suffers from an addiction to meth, getting the drug, using it, and recovering from it can consume them, and other activities take a backseat.

And when these addicts get caught?

Being caught in possession of meth can either result in a hefty fine between $1,000 - $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to 3 years. So it's pretty understandable that addicts often attempt to dispose of the product in the only way thinkable - they flush it down the toilet.

Out of sight, out of mind... right?

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Wrong! Just because something has been flushed down the toilet, it doesn't mean that it has magically disappeared forever, sadly.

Loretto Police Department put two and two together...

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As reported by AL.com, a man was recently caught in Loretto, Tennesse, flushing twelve grams of meth and several items of drug paraphernalia down his toilet. The suspected drug dealer was charged with drug possession intended for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence.

The police made a joke about the drug dealer's actions.

They jokingly warned that his actions could lead to the evolution of "meth gators." Yep, you heard that right...

They issued a statement on Facebook which has since been deleted.

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According to The Independent, the statement read: "This Folks… please don’t flush your drugs m’kay. "When you send something down the sewer pipe it ends up in our retention ponds for processing before it is sent downstream."

They weren't prepared for meth...

“Now 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 statement continued.

A "hyped-up duck" on meth?

"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."

Stressing the importance of disposing of drugs responsibly.

The statement was ended with: “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."

We're unsure as to whether "meth gators" actually exist...

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But the possibility of local gators being affected by dumped drugs is becoming higher and higher.

Crocodiles and alligators face ultimate extinction thanks to us humans...

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As many as half of the world's twenty-seven species of crocodilie face being wiped out by human activity, and this isn't just from meth...

The reptiles could face a bleak future...

Professor Gordon Grigg of the University of Queensland, Australia, warned that the reptiles face a "bleak future" due to land-use changes and pollution. Pollution comes from many different sources, but one can only imagine the effects of toxic substances such as methamphetamine.

A sad reality...

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The sad reality is that a "meth gator," if it does exist, will most likely be a "dead gator."

Drugs don't harm their users alone...

Recreational drug use has a worldwide effect on so many different things, including its users, their families, their friends - and, now, the environment and its wildlife.

I cannot stress the importance of going clean enough...

Of course, it's easier said than done - but calling it quits for good is unbelievably beneficial, not only for users, but for the world around them, too. We must ensure that no species of wildlife become extinct because of our reckless and irresponsible actions. We treat the animals on this planet badly enough.