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Tip of the Week: Hallucinogenic Plants
A ToxTidbits segment from Lisa Booze of the Maryland Poison Center
As students and young adults try to find ever more creative ways to get high, EMS providers like EMTs and paramedics will have to refresh their knowledge about the different behaviors in their region.
This week, Lisa Booze of the Maryland Poison Center shares her knowledge of some of the common plants used by teens to create hallucinogenic effects.
Among them is one named Jimsom Weed. Follow the link above to a full article on Jimsom Weed intoxication using the link above. Whatever the plant based culprit, it will fall to the EMS provider on the scene to use some detective skills during their patient assessment to determine what the specific patient presentation might be pointing to.
Relay this information to the local poison center and your online medical control service to work out a treatment plan. Some items to look for in and around the patient’s location:
- flower petals
- dried plant material
- baggies of plant or organic materials
Treat any patient with an unknown cause of altered mental status with the basics first. Follow your ABCs to treat any obvious life threats first and then try to get what info you can from bystanders or family members (if not from the patient themselves).
If the patient is conscious, attempt getting a history from them but try to do so once alone in the back of the ambulance without family or police units around.
The North American contact number for poison control is 1-800-222-1222.
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Until next time, Scene safety, BSI!
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