The west coast of the United States -and other communities across the country- continue to struggle with the devastating impact of opioid addiction, with the problem so bad the region’s mussel population is now testing positive for the substance.
According to CBS News, scientists from the Washington Department of Fishing and Wildlife are claiming that local varieties of mussels now contain traces of opioids as the drug’s “flow downstream” is starting to impact aquatic life.
“Since mussels are ‘filter feeders,’ they absorb contaminants from their environment into their tissues in a concentrated way. Scientists used cages to transplant clean mussels from an aquaculture source on Whidbey Island to 18 urbanized locations around Puget Sound. Several months later, they pulled those previously uncontaminated mussels back out of the urban waters and, together with the Puget Sound Institute, tested them again,” writes CBS.
The mussels tested positive in three of the 18 locations.
The President vowed to crackdown on the nation’s escalating crisis of addiction earlier this year, vowing to increase penalties for drug dealers and smugglers.
“If we don’t get tougher on drug dealers, we are wasting our time … and that toughness includes the death penalty,” Trump said.