Kids give up alcohol for marijuana
#Kids #give #alcohol #marijuana Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
A new paper has uncovered 338,727 cases of intentional abuse and abuse of children aged 6 to 18.
A recent study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology found that marijuana abuse among youth in the United States has increased by 245% since 2000, while alcohol abuse has declined over the same period.
The study, which tracked intentional abuse and abuse reported to the National Poison Data System (NPDS) through 2020, found 338,000 cases of intentional abuse or abuse in American children ages 6 to 18. The majority of these cases involved men (58.3%) and more than 80% of all reported cases occurred in teenagers aged 13 to 18 years. Overall, over 32% of these cases resulted in “worse than minor clinical outcomes”.
The new report shows a change in patterns over time. For example, dextromethorphan was the most commonly reported substance during the study period, but this peaked in 2006 and has since declined.
In addition, the largest number of abuse cases in 2000 involved exposure to ethanol, but since then, alcohol abuse by children has steadily declined over the years. In contrast, marijuana exposure cases remained relatively stable from 2000 to 2009, then rose steadily from 2011, with an even more dramatic increase in cases from 2017 to 2020.
Experts analyzing the data attribute the rise in marijuana use to the increasing popularity of edible cannabis products, which are now widely available across the country.
“Each year from 2000 to 2013, cases of ethanol abuse exceeded cases of marijuana,” says Dr. Adrienne Hughes, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, one of the study’s authors.
By 2014, however, this trend had reversed.
“Each year since 2014, marijuana exposure cases have exceeded ethanol cases, and each year by more than the year before,” says Hughes.
While rates of overall marijuana abuse increased, edible marijuana showed the highest average monthly increase compared to all other forms, suggesting youth have transitioned from smoking weed to alternative forms of consumption. Marijuana extracts, like those used in cannabis vaping products, have also grown in popularity.
“These edible and vaporizable products are often marketed in a way that is appealing to young people, and they are seen as more discreet and convenient,” says Hughes.
Although they may be perceived as less harmful, studies show that this is not the case.
“Compared to smoking cannabis, which typically results in an instant high, intoxication from edible forms of marijuana typically lasts for several hours, which can lead some individuals to consume larger amounts and experience unexpected and unpredictable highs,” says Hughes.
The dramatic increase in cannabis use by children since 2017 coincides with a wave of decriminalization legislation in the US. As of 2022, cannabis is legal in 19 states for adult recreational use and 36 states for medical use.
While cannabis is only legal for adults and not children, the study’s authors argue that it has made the drug more accessible to children and adolescents and contributed to a perception that the drug is safe.
“Our study describes an upward trend in marijuana abuse among youth, particularly those involving edibles,” says Hughes. “These results underscore the ongoing concern about the impact of the rapidly evolving legalization of cannabis on this vulnerable demographic.”
In addition to cannabis, the study shows high levels of over-the-counter drug abuse among teenagers. Between 2001 and 2016, the highest number of drug abuse cases involved dextromethorphan, an over-the-counter cold and cough medicine. Oral antihistamines were also among the most commonly abused substances in this study.
Drug abuse deaths were rare, occurring in 450 young people (0.1% of cases). Deaths were more common among males and among older teenagers aged 16 to 18. They were also most likely to occur after opioid abuse.
And while there were 57,488 incidents involving children as young as 6 to 12, those incidents typically didn’t involve “traditional” drugs, but instead involved vitamins, plants, melatonin, hand sanitizer and other items. Research limitations were limited to exposure cases classified as misuse or abuse. “Possibly other cases of misuse or abuse were classified differently and thus overlooked,” the authors report.
Reference: “Trends in intentional abuse and ingestion among school-age children and adolescents reported to US poison centers from 2000 to 2020” by Adrienne R. Hughes, Sara Grusing, Amber Lin, Robert G. Hendrickson, David C. Sheridan , Rebecca Marshall and B. Zane Horowitz, December 5, 2022, Clinical Toxicology.