High school science classes would've been a lot more interesting if the teachers let us get fish high. While we say that in jest, a team of nine researchers from the U.K. and Japan recently did just that.
The study “Protecting the Environment from Psychoactive Drugs,” published this year in the Science of the Total Environment journal, examined what would happen if you spiked the fish tank with different drugs. The team sought to assess the risk that might occur from drugs being introduced into public water sources. For this study, the researchers exposed the fish to tramadol (a synthetic opiate) for several weeks, testing their anxiety levels before and after the drug exposure.
How did the fish respond? “The results were difficult to interpret,” said the researchers, who apparently had wildly different interpretations of stoned fish behavior.
A separate test with fluoxetine (think Prozac), on the other hand, apparently produced a more definitive pattern. They reported that the antidepressant-juiced fish “explored the novel tank more, and swam more slowly while doing so.” Ironically, the Maine chef who got lobsters high on cannabis last year saw similar results. (By contrast, a study last year involved giving ayahuasca to zebrafish, and those little fishies got fucked up.)
The “very varied opinions of experts on the correct interpretation of those inconclusive data” ultimately led the team to recommend more tests to assess how fish behave after getting high on tramadol and “probably all other psychoactive drugs.”
Might we suggest giving the fish MDMA and exposing them to EDM music?