Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Surge in children accidentally eating marijuana-laced foods

28.05.2013
Relaxed Colorado drug laws behind trend

A new study shows the relaxation of marijuana laws in Colorado has caused a significant spike in the number of young children treated for accidentally eating marijuana-laced cookies, candies, brownies and beverages.

"We have seen an increase in unintentional ingestions of marijuana by children since the modification of drugs laws in Colorado," said George Wang, MD, lead author of the study and clinical instructor in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "We need to educate marijuana users, the community and medical professionals about the potential dangers."

The study, published Monday in the JAMA Pediatrics, compared the number of young children treated at the Children's Hospital Colorado emergency department for ingesting marijuana before and after the modification of Colorado's drug laws beginning in 2009.

A total of 1,378 patients under age 12 were evaluated for unintentional ingestions – 790 before Sept. 30, 2009 and 588 after Oct. 1, 2009. The number of children treated for exposure to marijuana before Sept. 30 was zero. The number from Oct. 1 on was 14 with eight of those coming directly from consuming marijuana food products.

Wang, a fellow at the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center, said today's marijuana can be much stronger, and these products can contain higher concentrations of THC, the active ingredient in the drug. Some marijuana infused candy bars, for example, contain 300 milligrams of THC. Children who ingested the drug exhibited symptoms that included respiratory problems, extreme sleepiness, difficulty in walking and lethargy. Many underwent a battery of expensive tests to diagnose their problem because the history of exposure was not given, or medical professionals were not familiar with marijuana causing these symptoms.

"Before the marijuana boom these kinds of edibles were not mass-produced and the amount of THC ingested was somewhat limited, but now we are seeing much higher strength marijuana," Wang said. "The key to this is prevention through child resistant packaging."

With that in mind, Wang and Michael Kosnett, MD, MPH, a medical toxicologist and associate clinical professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, recently testified before a state advisory panel. According to Kosnett, they persuaded the panel to recommend child resistant packaging for marijuana edibles.

"Dr. Wang and I worked together to translate his study findings into public policy that would prevent poisoning," said Kosnett, who is also an attending physician at the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center, a division of Denver Health. "We were gratified that our message to the governor's Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force and the legislature resulted in passage earlier this month of a law requiring the Colorado Department of Revenue to develop rules for child resistant packaging for marijuana products by July 1."

Child resistant packaging, Kosnett said, began with baby aspirin in the 1940s and in several studies has been associated with a 40 to 95 percent decline in pediatric poisonings from oral medications and hazardous household chemicals.

"We know that children will act quickly to ingest even unpalatable items like household cleaners, pills and capsules," he said. "The allure of these marijuana edibles which taste and look like simple sweets makes them especially risky."

So far, no other state has developed similar packaging laws, including Washington which legalized recreational marijuana last year, Kosnett said.

"I believe the experience here in Colorado and the appropriate response by the Colorado Legislature will serve as an example to the rest of the country," he said.

Wang agreed.

"As more states move to legalize marijuana this problem is only going to increase," said Wang. "Now is the time to be proactive and intervene."

About the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the CU Denver newsroom online.

David Kelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>