Poison Control center prepares for pot-related calls - CBS 5 - KPHO

Poison Control center prepares for pot-related calls

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Banner's Poison Control Center receives more than 100,000 calls a year. Some calls are for venomous bites. Others are for overdosing on prescription pills. And now, those answering calls at the center must add marijuana-related calls to the list.

"There are about 30,000 or more (medical marijuana) card-carrying folks in Arizona. That number could go up," said Doctor Daniel Brooks, the co-director of Banner's Poison Control Center.

On the back of each-and-every one of those 30,000 cards is an 800 number which puts callers in touch with poison control.

"We've been working with some folks from the Department of Health Services to come up with some guidelines and education material in order to stay ahead of any potential problems."

Brooks said those potential problems could come in many different forms; from problems with pot mixing with other prescriptions to overuse of the drug.

"In the short term, people may not have any experience with the medication. Then they start using it and they're uncomfortable with it," said Brooks.

"We're also expecting to get phone calls from friends and family that are dealing with patients that are using this for the first time and are perhaps using it inappropriately or excessively," he continued.

Right now, the center gets a few dozen marijuana-related calls a year. Brooks expects that number to increase as more prescriptions are filled.

"It's our job to take care of these folks and make sure they are not having adverse affects from any drugs or medication that they're taking," he said.

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