Synthetic Marijuana Deaths Triple This Year

Deaths and emergency calls related to synthetic marijuana have increased in the U.S. over the last year.

Synthetic marijuana has caused three times as many deaths in the past year compared to the year before according to a report released this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, released on June 11, counted 15 deaths related to synthetic cannabinoid use between January and May of 2015 in the 48 states giving data. In the same stretch of 2014 researchers found only five deaths. Researchers also counted 3,572 emergency calls in the same time frame, up from just 1,085 in 2014.

RELATED: Drug Trend Alert: Marijuana Wax, Oil or Concentrates

Types of synthetic marijuana, which began appearing in the U.S. in 2009, are made by spraying psychoactive chemicals on plants, according to nbcnews.com. The more dangerous form of marijuana has been registered as a Schedule I drug by the CDC, and adverse effects include agitation, rapid heart rate, drowsiness, vomiting and confusion.

Campus Safety Magazine had previously reported on the growing flakka epidemic. Flakka is not the same as synthetic marijuana but both are getting increasing attention from the CDC because of their dangers.

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