FDPS 2/9/24 Friday Fact: Surge in Hallucinogen-Related Health Emergency Department Visits

A study published last month in Addiction examined trends in substance-related emergency department visits in California from 2016 to 2022:

Report Highlights:

  • 54% Increase in Hallucinogen-Related ED Visits: From 2016 to 2022, there was a significant rise in emergency department visits due to hallucinogens, from 2,260 to 3,476 visits. Hallucinogens are psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, LSD, ketamine, ecstasy, and PCP.
  • 15% Rise in Marijuana-Related ED Visits: Marijuana-associated ED visits saw a 15% increase, from 111,267 visits in 2016 to 139,479 in 2022.
  • Significant Increase in Hospitalizations: Hallucinogen-related hospitalizations surged by 55%, from 2,556 in 2016 to 3,965 in 2022. There was not a statistically significant increase in marijuana-associated hospitalizations, though it experienced a modest increase.

The researchers explained, “these findings represent a concerning trend, especially given growing public perception that hallucinogens are low-risk and as rates of use continue to grow.”