North Carolina

‘Meth gators’? Here’s what people are doing to create them, Tennessee cops say

Meth is stronger, more dangerous than ever

David Fawcett, a therapist who works with people recovering from crystal meth addiction, talks about the purity of the drug now available and the effects it has on its users.
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David Fawcett, a therapist who works with people recovering from crystal meth addiction, talks about the purity of the drug now available and the effects it has on its users.

Updated on July 22: The Tennessee police department that issued the warning about “meth gators” now says it was meant to be a “humorous illustration” to show the dangers of flushing drugs, and that the “meth gator is not (at this time) real.”

A suspect tried to flush methamphetamine down the toilet last weekend, police in Tennessee said.

You know what happens to those flushed drugs?

They go into the sewer system, and alligators and other creatures ingest them. And eventually there could be “meth gators” wandering around, the Loretto Police Department wrote on Facebook.

“On a more or less serious note: Folks…please don’t flush your drugs m’kay,” police wrote.

Environmental experts have long been worried about the effects of prescription drugs on the water supply that flows into people’s homes. Many police departments, including in Loretto, offer programs in which people can safely dispose of unused meds.

But criminals trying to get rid of illegal drugs in a hurry might turn to the toilet. The drugs can end up in retention ponds, where ducks, geese and other animals sometimes like to hang out, police noted.

“We shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do,” police said in the post.

If the drugs linger long enough in the water system, according to police, they could become a tasty snack for alligators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River in Alabama.

“They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help,” police said.

A town on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi found a 7-foot alligator living in a neighborhood storm drain

A Hilton Head Plantation security officer calmly removed a thrashing alligator from a resident's pool on Memorial Day. The gator was relocated to a lagoon inside the S.C. gated community.

A 10-foot alligator had to be pulled out from under a home in Bolton, N.C. It was stuck there and caused the house to move on May 15, 2019.

Authorities removed an alligator that found its way into the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach on Friday. The gator was swimming in the ocean near 69th Avenue North.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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