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USA. Increase in the number of children accidentally consuming marijuana

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The number of U.S. children who accidentally ingested marijuana increased by 1,375 percent. in just five years, according to the US National Poison Data System (NPDS). According to the authors of the report quoted by CNN, this may be due to the fact that the substance is sometimes an ingredient of sweets liked by children, and their packaging is difficult to distinguish from those that do not contain marijuana.

The US National Poison Data System (NPDS) report published on Tuesday, January 3, shows that between 2017 and 2021, the number of children under the age of 6 who accidentally ingested marijuana was over 7,040. In almost a quarter of cases, they ended up in hospitals .

As CNN points out, in 2021, 19 states in USA allowed recreational use of marijuana, and in 40 more it was allowed for medical purposes.

SEE ALSO: The two-year-old climbed out the window onto the windowsill. Mother and her partner on drugs

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Marijuana use by young children is on the rise

According to NPDST data, in 2020 alone, accidental marijuana consumption by children accounted for more than 40 percent. all reports of poisoning. We knew that number was increasing. I work in the emergency department, I get calls, and while I’ve seen more and more cases, when we looked at the national data, we were surprised,” said co-author Dr. Antonia Nemanich of Rush Emergency Medicine in Chicago, quoted by CNN. The authors of the report did not specify the exact reason for this increase, but Nemanich believes that many factors contributed to it. She emphasized that a particular “jump” was noted during the pandemic, when children were more often at home.

The consumption of marijuana by children may be due to the fact that it is an ingredient of products liked by the youngest, such as candies, cookies, chocolate bars or chocolates. As the researchers noted, the packaging of such products, especially those sold on the black market, often does not differ significantly from popular sweets that do not contain marijuana. And while many food companies have launched lawsuits, copies of their products containing the drug are still available, CNN points out.

SEE ALSO: Amphetamine on a plate, marijuana in a doghouse, charges in the prosecutor’s office

Harmful consequences of marijuana for the health of the youngest

Meanwhile, the consumption of marijuana by children can have serious consequences for their health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, possible effects include problems with walking, sitting, and breathing. The authors of the study emphasize, however, that the effects of marijuana consumption may be more dangerous in the case of children than adults, e.g. because of the baby’s much lower weight. The hospitalized children had heart problems, confusion and vomiting.

According to CNN, one of last year’s studies showed that in states where marijuana is legal, its consumption is 20 percent higher. than in those that did not legalize it. And as it is released to the market, the number of products available also increases. I think these factors play a role. Regulations are not keeping pace with increasing availability, says Dr Nemanich. In her opinion, it is not a problem that these products are legal, but that they are not sold in packaging that should contain such substances. – They are sold as if they were ordinary tasty snacks – emphasizes the expert.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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