Scientists are hooking fish on opioids to teach us how our brains get addicted to things. It sounds crazy, but it's actually just science.
Around 100 Americans die from overdoses every day. Two million Americans have some kind of opioid-related addiction, and overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. More people die in the U.S. of drug overdoses than did from car crashes at their peak!
But an epidemic of opioids is so much more difficult to fix than car crashes. Car crashes peaked in 1972. So, we created national speed limits, seat belt requirements, drunk-driving laws. But we already have laws restricting opioid use, and we're still in trouble. And that's because we just... don't understand addiction very well.
So, to learn about our own brains, we're getting zebrafish addicted to drugs and it's teaching us a lot!