ER visits for synthetic pot have more than doubled in the last few years in the United States of America, in spite of laws that ban these drugs from being sold in store in the country. Synthetic pot, often sold under names like K2 and Spice, is often used because these synthetic versions may not show up as THC on drug screens, so users can get high without having to worry about a positive drug test result and the loss of their job or freedom. According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administrator Pamela Hyde “Synthetic cannabinoids are a growing public health risk — made even more dangerous by the widespread misconception that they are safe and legal. These injury reports compel us to get the word out to all segments of the community — especially youth — that these products can cause significant harm.”
The latest report on synthetic marijuana and ER visits shows the dangers of these drugs, and that they are still being used by many people in spite of the fact that they are illegal. Synthetic marijuana products have varying amounts of a wide range of ingredients, and these products can contain contaminants that pose health risks. In 2011 synthetic marijuana accounted for 11,400 ER visits, and in 2012 this number increased to 28,500. The health problems and medical complications caused by synthetic marijuana products that warranted ER visits included paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, severe agitation, seizures, vomiting, and even coma and death in some cases.