Sunday, August 15, 2010

The cleanest drug

In the good old days, people used to smoke a joint to get high, or if they were particularly 80s, do a line of coke. Maybe drop some acid, maybe shoot some heroin with a dirty, HIV laden needle. Safe, fun stuff. Kids these days, though, they do all kinds of weird shit. They suffocate themselves, they take their parents' prescription pills, they huff propane(?!).

I understand that it's a lot cheaper to inhale whippets (not the dog), but that can't be good for you. Last year I read about this great new drug, and it is full of amazing things. Are you sitting down?

It's called tap water. And it's hot.
Around the world, scientists are finding trace amounts of substances—from sugar and spice to heroine, rocket fuel, and birth control—that might be having unintended consequences for humans and wildlife alike.
* * *
After a person has taken drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and ecstasy, active byproducts of these substances are released into the sewage stream through that person's urine and feces.

These byproducts, or metabolites, are often not completely removed during the sewage-treatment process, at least in Europe, said Sara Castiglioni of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy.

That means the drug-tainted wastewater can enter groundwater and surface water, which are collectively the major sources of drinking water for most people.
I know what you're thinking. "Europe? That's a whole 'nother world. How am I supposed to get access to that?" Don't worry, my friends, it is now available Stateside.
In Philadelphia, the water department has not informed its 1.5 million users that traces of 56 pharmaceuticals or their byproducts — like the active ingredients in drugs to treat depression, anxiety, high cholesterol, fever and pain — have been detected in the drinking water, and that 63 pharmaceuticals or byproducts had been found in the city's source watersheds.
Enjoy the rest of your summer by putting away the bong or the rubber cement, and instead enjoy some fresh, poorly processed water straight from the best drug dealer in town, the kitchen sink.

1 comment:

Gorilla Bananas said...

I get all my moisture from fruit and vegetables. Licking frogs is another alternative to water.