GREENVILLE, N.C. –
A dangerous trend continues to grow involving some who use marijuana becoming psychotic and ending up at Vidant’s ER. Some believe the marijuana is being laced.
Doctors at Vidant say three years ago, this wasn’t a problem. Now they’re seeing 12 cases every year.
“Something is happening here that people are becoming psychotic as a result of the current marijuana that’s on the street,” said Thomas Penders, Vidant Medical Director for Behavioral Health.
Doctors say when the patient comes to the ER, they often claim they’re restless and seeing things. Cornel Stanciu, an ECU psychiatry resident, says that could mean trouble for everyone.
“These people are not only a harm to themselves, but they’re also a danger to others in the public,” Stanciu said.
Law enforcement agencies in Pitt County are scratching their heads, since they haven’t seen laced marijuana recently.
“Previously we’ve seen marijuana being laced with embalming fluid,” said Lt. Carter Adkins with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Narcotics division. “That’s one of the most popular things back a few years ago.”
Each time a patient comes to the ER, doctors do a drug test. But they’re finding the only drug that test positive in all of these cases is marijuana.
Doctors say all of the cases involve people who are young. Adkins says this is in part due to the misconception a lot of youth have that marijuana isn’t dangerous.
“Marijuana is kind of the gateway drug,” Adkins said. “If you take 10 heroin users in a room probably 8 to 9 of them have experimented with marijuana first before using heroin.”
Adkins says there’s a clear message that needs to be taken away from this.
“You need to be more cautious with what your kids are doing,” he said. “Be more in their life and make sure they are not messing with any type of illegal narcotics.”
CarolinaEast in New Bern and Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville both report they haven’t seen any cases like this.
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