New York’s Cary Institute sent ecologists to test the waters of all the Great Lakes, and their findings ranged from shocking to downright terrifying. “Those drugs that people use, are ending up in the waste stream and getting out into the environment as well, with unknown ecological consequences,” said Ecologist Emma Rosi. Ecologists have discovered caffeine, nicotine, antidepressants, amphetamines and even cocaine.

In some cases aquatic life has ingested enough to have a marked effect. Drugs can pass into lake water through sewage, but the primary culprit is flushing medications down the toilet or putting them in a sink, a common method of disposal for drugs.