Costa Mesa, May 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Costa Mesa, Calif. —
Costa Mesa, Calif. – Consumption of marijuana in food or drink is popular in states that have legalized the drug for recreational use. But as cannabis becomes more readily available to adults in these states, it also becomes a danger to young children, who are accidentally ingesting edibles at alarming rates.
Resurgence Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment center in Costa Mesa, Calif., urges parents to take note of this alarming situation and be extra careful if they have edibles in their homes.
In July 2021, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported receiving nearly 2,500 calls about children under 12 who accidentally used marijuana at home in 2020. In 2016, only 132 such cases had been reported.
The Washington Post tracked cases of cannabis poisoning before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana. In 2010, before it was legalized, poison control centers received 19 such calls. In 2020, this number increased to 554 cases, or 29 times more.
Individual states have reported similar increases since legalization. In Colorado, for example, cannabis-related poisoning cases have increased 34% per year since 2014. In Massachusetts, hospital ERs saw only 52 cases of cannabis poisoning in 2018, but managed 257 cases in 2020.
Marijuana edibles pack a potent high. Many users enjoy foods and drinks containing cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in marijuana. Popular edibles include cookies, brownies, and candies – popular treats for children, who may innocently ingest an edible if left where they can easily reach it. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 are most at risk.
Fortunately, no deaths have been reported in children who accidentally ingest edibles. But they can suffer side effects ranging from drowsiness, restlessness and confusion to rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing and even seizures.
The severity of side effects experienced by the child will depend on their physical condition and the amount ingested. Since edibles are often packaged for multiple adults, a child can get a very high dose if they eat an entire cookie or candy.
If a child accidentally eats a marijuana edible, the first thing to do is to stay calm and assess the situation for poison control personnel. Determine the type of edible they ate, the amount they consumed, when they ingested it, and any warnings on the label.
If the child has no symptoms, don’t assume they are fine; call the local poison control center immediately. The body takes longer to feel the effects of marijuana when it is eaten rather than smoked; so the child’s symptoms may not appear for 90 minutes or more.
If the child has symptoms, such as drowsiness, difficulty breathing, or seizures, call 911 immediately.
The potentially devastating effects of accidental consumption mean it’s essential to take extra steps to keep edibles away from children. Treat them like a poisonous substance or a prescription drug.
Anyone with edibles at home should store them in a place inaccessible to children. Do not let children know where edibles are kept and be sure to keep edibles out of reach. Kids have great hunting skills when it comes to treats like candies and cookies, so it’s a good idea to lock edibles and keep the key. Make sure friends and family members who use edibles take the same precautions at home. Readers should also see a previous version, the rise of edibles delivered to homes by marijuana delivery services.
None of these precautions guarantee that a child will never accidentally use marijuana. Continuing to use it may be a pattern of behavior that children will one day intentionally copy. For anyone concerned about their use of marijuana, other drugs, or alcohol, visit Resurgence Behavioral Health online or call (855) 458-0050 to find out how they can help.
For more information about Resurgence Alcohol & Drug Rehab Costa Mesa, contact the company here:
Resurgence Alcohol & Drug Rehab Costa Mesa