Synthetic Cannabinoid Drug Poisonings Surge

The increased use of synthetic cannabinoids presents a serious public health threat.
The increased use of synthetic cannabinoids presents a serious public health threat.

HealthDay News — Synthetic cannabinoids are sending increasing numbers of U.S. users to hospitals, according to research published in the July 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers analyzed data from the Toxicology Investigators Consortium, a registry established by the American College of Medical Toxicology. From 2010 to 2015, U.S. toxicologists treated 456 cases of synthetic cannabinoid intoxication. Sixty-one percent of the patients said it was the only drug they had used.

Three of these patients died, one of whom had used synthetic cannabinoids exclusively. The other two used synthetic cannabinoids along with other illicit agents, the researchers said.

"The increase in acute synthetic cannabinoid poisonings underscores the importance of targeted prevention interventions and the need for education about the potentially life-threatening consequences of synthetic cannabinoid use," the authors write.

Reference

Riederer AM, Campleman SL, Carlson RG, et al. Acute Poisonings from Synthetic Cannabinoids — 50 U.S. Toxicology Investigators Consortium Registry Sites, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:692–695. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6527a2

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