Colorado ER Visits For Pot Double
These days going to Colorado is a must on the bucket lists of many tourists thanks to the legalization of marijuana on a state level. It appears that these liberal marijuana laws should come with a bit of a disclaimer as overly eager tokers are landing themselves in emergency rooms after hitting the Mary Jane a little too hard.
According to reports out of Denver, the rate of marijuana users stumbling into local emergency rooms with a wicked case of the munchies and a heap of other less than enjoyable side effects has more than doubled. There hasn’t been a notable change in emergency room visits from Colorado residents, though, even with usage rates increasing significantly among the state’s younger residents.
“At our institution, the rate of ED visits possibly related to cannabis use among out-of-state residents doubles from 85 per 10,000 visits in 2013 to 168 per 10,000 visits in 2014, which was the first year of retail marijuana sales,” according to emergency room toxicologist with the University of Colorado Denver, Dr. Andrew Monte.
There seems to be a relatively high correlation between those paying ER’s a visit and those with preexisting medical conditions like anxiety, schizophrenia and heart disease, according to Dr. Monte. “We see three different groups of people that come into the department. The first are exacerbations of underlying medical conditions,” he said.
“I took care of a guy just the other night that had come in, was flying out of town, had come in to see friends, decided to drink some liquid just before going to the airport. He started to feel anxious. His heart started to race,” said Dr. Monte. “So he came into the emergency department. So we made sure he had no heart trouble, checked the blood sugar, gave him a little bit of sedative and then sent him on to the airport.”
Dr. Monte attributes part of the problem to insufficient education regarding how to safely partake in ingesting marijuana in any forms. He says, “People should start low and go slow and have a full understanding of what the risks are. Nothing is 100 percent safe. You can get intoxicated by water if you drink too much of it.”