Sunday, December 3

Natural psychoactive substances trigger many calls to U.S. poison centers

Exposure to natural substances with psychoactive effects — including marijuana, kratom, magic mushrooms and nutmeg — triggered more than 67,300 calls to U.S. Poison Control Centers over nearly two decades.

That’s an average of 3,743 calls a year between January 2000 and December 2017, or about 10 calls a day, according to researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. About nine in 10 cases occurred at a home, 64 percent involved males, and most cases were in people older than 19 (41 percent), or aged 13 to 19 (35 percent).

The substances most often involved were marijuana (47 percent); anticholinergic plants such as jimson weed (21 percent); and hallucinogenic mushrooms (16 percent).

Rates of hospital admission and serious medical outcomes were most common in cases involving kratom, khat, anticholinergic plants and hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to the report published online Nov. 26 in the journal Clinical Toxicology.

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