Psychoactive Calls Increased

Robert Preidt, of HealthDay Reporter, recently posted an article on the increased calls to poison control for psychoactive. Marijuana, kratom, magic mushrooms and nutmeg are natural substances with psychoactive effects. These have triggered more than 67,300 calls to U.S. Poison Control Center over nearly two decades.

These many calls make an average of about 3,743 calls a year between January 2000 and December 2017, or around 10 calls a day. This information is according to the researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Of these cases about 9 in 10 occurred at a home, 64% were males, and most of the cases were for people older than 19 or aged 13 to 19. Marijuana was the substance most often involved. Anticholinergic plants such as jimsyn weed and hallucinogenic mushrooms were the others often called about.

According to the report published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, hospital admission and serious medical outcomes were most commonly involving kratom, khat, anticholinergic plants, and hallucinogenic mushrooms. All of these have been associated with a variety of medical outcomes. Some of these include seizures and coma in both adults and children, said co-author Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s.

Marijuana accounted for about half of these exposures. This is partly because of the growing number of states that have legalized the recreational or medical use of these substances. Parents and health care providers should treat this like any other medication as more states are continuing to legalize marijuana in many forms. These should be locked up, kept high and out of sight of children.

Children are curious and often mistake the edibles and infused products as candy or food, which poses a very real risk for harm. Exposure to most natural psychoactive substances has decreased between 2000 and 2017, but there was still a 150% increase for marijuana and a 64% increase for nutmeg.

Kratom exposure soared nearly 5,000% over the period, which accounts for eight of the 42 deaths identified in the study. This accentuates the need for increased focus on kratom. Seven of the 42 deaths identified were among children and teens. In the 13 to 19-year-olds five occurred and involved anticholinergic plants, hallucinogenic mushrooms, kava, and marijuana. Deaths among the younger children involved marijuana.

Curiosity was associated with nearly all exposure among children under the age of 6. This accounted for 1/5 of cases with the majority involving anticholinergic plants and marijuana.

This study was conducted by the researchers at Nationwide’s Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center.

Dr Fredda Branyon