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These substances contain ingredients that act in the same way as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.Legislation making ingredients in synthetic marijuana illegal in Michigan went into effect in October 2010; since then, synthetic cannabinoids are added to the list of Schedule l controlled substances as discovery and investigation continues.The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) receives federal funding to conduct public health surveillance on the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on Michigan's population.The Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology provides epidemiological support to programmatic efforts related to alcohol and drugs provided by other Michigan and National agencies.The Michigan Regional Poison Control Center at DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan (PCC) monitors the number of cases called in by the general public and health care providers due to synthetic marijuana exposure.The PCC reports the number of cases increased between January 1, 2010 through June 2012 in Michigan; with a total of 533 emergency department visits involving THC homologs reported.From 2001-2005, there were approximately 79,000 deaths annually attributable to excessive alcohol use in the United States (2).
While most adults consume alcohol responsibly, there is a growing need to understand the relationship between alcohol use, particularly excessive use and its harmful effects in Michigan.
Subsequently, the number of cases involving THC use reported to the Poison Control Center has decreased, even as more synthetic cannabinoids have been placed onto Schedule l.
Although there is no mandated reporting requirements, PCC conducts ongoing surveillance.
The effects of substance abuse are far-reaching, extending beyond individuals to families and society.
Therefore, there is an urgency to monitor the burden of substance and prescription drug abuse in Michigan.