Huge Rise in Emergency Room Visits
Center Point, Texas, May 25, 2015: The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which nationally bans 26 different types of synthetic drugs, was established in 2012 in order to put an end to deadly synthetic substances. However, three years after the fact, not only is synthetic marijuana still being abused, its use is more prevalent and even more dangerous than before. In fact, there has been a nationwide increase in the number of emergency room visits and calls to poison control centers associated with use of this drug.
In the first three weeks of April 2015 alone, state poison control centers received around 1,000 reports of negative reactions to synthetic marijuana. This nearly doubled the number of incidents that were reported from January through March of the same year. In the state of Alabama, it was reported that 462 patients visited the hospital as a result of consuming synthetic marijuana. Of those 462 patients, 92 were hospitalized and two died. Additionally, in a span of only 13 days, hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama reported 24 synthetic marijuana overdoses, which included one death. Finally, also in April, more than 400 emergency room visits in Mississippi were linked to use of synthetic marijuana.
Many experts suspect that part of the reason for such an increase in emergencies related to synthetic marijuana, could in part be due to the dangerous formulations that are used to make this substance. The producers of synthetic marijuana create new formulations on a regular basis, and each new formulation presents a whole different set of health risks.
Even more troubling, is that producers of synthetic marijuana have been able to continuously stay ahead of authorities because the synthetic formulations can be quickly changed. No sooner is one cannabinoid outlawed than another slightly different drug emerges to take its place. To put this in perspective, by the end of 2012, the federal government had identified at least 51 different types of synthetic marijuana.
According to Amy Swetnam, executive director of Starlite Recovery Center in Center Point, Texas, “Synthetic marijuana is a risky choice for users. New formulations continue to send people to the ER for a variety of issues, including dangerous and often violent hallucinations and severe agitation. Even though synthetic drug testing is available, it is extremely difficult for law enforcement and healthcare providers to keep up with the seemingly ever-changing chemical compounds used to create these drugs.”
However, one thing remains the same. No matter what formula is used in the production of synthetic marijuana, they all carry the same potential for deadly results.
About Starlite Recovery Center: Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Starlite Recovery Center has been helping men and women recover from the disease of addiction for over 50 years. Starlite’s program philosophy is based on the understanding that substance use disorders affect the entire person – body, mind, and spirit and severely impacts all areas of life. Our talented team of physicians, nurses, and licensed counselors create individualized treatment that address the full continuum of care – from prevention and intervention, to treatment, through recovery and continuing care. And because addiction is a disease that touches family, friends, and other loved ones who often need support as well, our renowned Family Program provides a nurturing environment that includes education, communication exercise, and recovery skills building. Call Starlite Recovery Center at (830) 469-4787