April 1, 2014

National Take Back Day is April 26th

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Check this website for more details on who is participating as we near the actual date!

March 17, 2014

Rate of Poison Center Calls for Unintentional Pediatric Marijuana Exposures More Than Tripled in States That Decriminalized Marijuana Before 2005

There were 985 calls to U.S. poison centers for unintentional marijuana exposure in children ages 9 and younger between 2005 and 2011, according to an analysis of data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS). While this number is relatively low, the rate of calls in states that had passed legislation legalizing marijuana use for recreational or medicinal purposes before 2005 more than tripled over this period, increasing from 3.9 calls per 100,000 population in 2005 to 14.8 per 100,000 in 2011.

The call rate in transitional states—those that had enacted legislation between 2005 and 2011—also increased over the period, from 5.2 per 100,000 to 8.7 per 100,000. In contrast, states that had not passed marijuana decriminalization laws as of December 31, 2011 (nonlegal states) showed no change in the rate of poison center calls for unintentional pediatric exposure to marijuana (see figure below). Furthermore, exposures in decriminalized states were more likely than those in nonlegal states to require health care evaluation, to have moderate to major clinical effects, and to require critical care admissions (data not shown). The authors conclude that “as more states pass legislation to decriminalize medical and recreational marijuana, we expect the rate of marijuana exposures in young children to continue to increase” (p. 4) and suggest that “state lawmakers should consider requirements, such as child-resistant packaging, warning labels, and public education, when drafting marijuana legislation to minimize the effect on children” (p. 5).

* Decriminalized States: passed marijuana decriminalization legislation (for medical and/or recreational purposes) before 2005 (AK, CA, CO, HI, ME, NV, OR, VT, and WA). Transitional States: Enacted legislation between 2005 and 2011 (AZ, MI, MT, NM, RI). Nonlegal States: Had not passed legislation as of December 31, 2011.
NOTE:   Data are from the National Poison Data System (NPDS), which contains information from the human poison exposure case phone calls taken by all 56 poison centers across the country. Single-substance, unintentional exposures in children aged 9 years and younger from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011 were included as cases. The authors suggest that the increased call rate may be related to increased use by family members, increased likelihood of ingestion, increased potency of the ingestion, and/or increased likelihood of caregivers calling poison centers or presenting to health care facilities for help. 
SOURCE: Adapted by CESAR from Wang, G.S., Roosevelt, G., Le Lait, M-C, Martinez, E.M., Bucher-Bartelson, B., Bronstein, A.C., and Heard, K., “Association of Unintentional Pediatric Exposures with Decriminalization of Marijuana in the United States,” Annals of Emergency Medicine, In Press, 2014. For more information, please contact Dr. George Wang at george.wang@childrenscolorado.org

CESAR@umd.edu ll www.cesar.umd.edu ll The CESAR FAX is independently funded by CESAR and may be copied without permission. Please cite CESAR as the source

March 10, 2014

Representative Yingling Holds First Youth Heroin Use Task Force Hearing

This is from the Grayslake Patch.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Hainesville, convened the very first hearing of the newly formed Youth Heroin Use Task Force yesterday in Springfield. The task force is the product of legislation Yingling passed last session creating the committee to study heroin use in young adults across the state. The principal goal of the committee is to reduce and prevent heroin use in teens and young adults in Illinois.

“I am honored that after so much hard work the Youth Heroin Use Task Force is now beginning it’s very important task of fighting the heroin epidemic we face in Illinois,” said Yingling. “Heroin is not confined to a city corner or a socio-economic class – it is spreading throughout the suburbs, down-state, and growing rapidly. I’m honored to chair this committee and I’m encouraged by the dedication of the members of this committee and I believe together, we will be able to a recommend some achievable solutions to the heroin problem.”

The committee heard testimony from a variety of individuals representing a wide range of expertise. Bill Gentes from the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force spoke; the Will County Director of Behavioral Health, Dr. Troiani testified; as did other representatives from the Christian County State’s Attorney and the Macoupin Assistant State’s Attorney.

“This task force is made up of a variety of public sector members as well as private sector experts who specialize in this challenging issue and community stake holders who work directly with young adults everyday,” Yingling said. “I am excited and confident that we will be able to put together viable proposals to help lower the number of heroin deaths that occur each year in Illinois and work to prevent heroin use in the first place.”