THE BLOG
01/05/2015 09:22 am ET Updated Mar 07, 2015

Pot Doesn't Even Rank in U.S. Poisonings, But Pills Do

Marijuana, that scourge of America, didn't even earn a mention in the National Poison Control Center's new research paper on poisonings in the United States.

The center's report, "Poisoning in the United States," was published this month in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The biggest death-causing drug in the land, responsible for 83 percent of poisonings that ended in death, the study found, was prescription painkillers, namely opioids.

Cardiovascular and antidepressant pills also contributed to that finding, the paper states.

Though traditional marijuana wasn't even a factor in the report, the researchers found that wannabe pot, a.k.a. synthetic marijuana, along with "bath salts," did their own damage, according to a summary:

The family of designer drugs such as "bath salts" (a type of amphetamine), "plant food," synthetic marijuana and others continue to poison users severely enough that they require emergency medical treatment. Although bath salts exposures peaked in 2011, new illicit drugs sold to consumers continue to be monitored by poison control centers.

Most of the reported, 2.2 million poisonings looked at it one recent year, by the way, didn't even require hospitalization, the study found.

Lead study author Richard Dart says:

Emergency physicians are continually challenged by the emergence of new types of poisonings, which lately include illicit street drugs as well as laundry detergent pods.

But not cannabis. Even in the age of legalization.

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