HOW MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TREAT MARIJUANA OVERDOSES
- October 12, 2018
Strangely, medical marijuana overdoses seem to be making headlines in the news. In January, a little girl from Santa Fe unintentionally handed out cannabis gummy bears to her classmates, resulting in one child getting dangerously high. Later, in March, two teenagers were treated at a school clinic for ingesting more the gummy treats. Nearly four months after, eleven Indiana teens suffered from massive overdoses on THC-spiked gummies and required hospitalization. If anything, these cases prove how dangerous marijuana can be. So, how do doctors, EMTs, and other medical professionals treat people suffering from overconsumption of cannabis? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
The Frightening Truth about Weed Overdoses
For many years, cannabis overdoses have been a considerable problem for the United States, particularly since the legalization of the drug in multiple states. Meanwhile, our neighbor Canada has experienced a boom in emergency room visits related to “green-out” (the term for a marijuana overdose or related incident). Keep in mind that this phenomenon is not associated with the dangerous synthetic cannabinoids that have been sweeping through the U.S.
A doctor from the Denver Medical Health Center in Colorado revealed that, since the state legalized both uses for the drug, sales of higher-grade strains and THC-laced edibles have been on the rise. These new “super-marijuana” plants are new animals compared to the drugs that were consumed a decade ago. In metropolitan areas of Denver, tourists make up the majority of ER patients, while locals are suffering from cannabinoid hyperemesis (a syndrome characterized by abdominal pain and vomiting induced by long-term pot use).
How to Treat Overdoses
Overall, doctors and EMTs treat patients based on observed symptoms. For example, if a patient is nauseous or vomiting violently, medical personnel would administer ondansetron (an anti-nausea drug) and provide intravenous fluids (to keep the patient hydrated). Also, a patient suffering from paranoia and agitation would receive benzodiazepines for calming and sedation. However, personnel always keep tabs on vital signs on each stage of transportation to a clinic or a hospital.
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