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Mathai D, Gordon M, Muchmore P, Matorin A, Shah A, Moukaddam N. 
“Paradoxical increase in synthetic cannabinoid emergency-related presentations after a citywide ban: Lessons from Houston, Texas”. 
Bull Menninger Clin. 2016 Dec;80(4):357-370.
Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) have become a major drug of abuse associated with severe hospital presentations. There have been a variety of legislative efforts to regulate these drugs: The authors focus on trends in SC-related hospitalizations at Ben Taub General Hospital before and after a ban enacted by the city of Houston. Data from all consults seen by Ben Taub's Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor were examined for changes in SC-related presentations before and after the ban. The findings were compared alongside other reports of current SC use. A significant increase was found in the prevalence of SC-related presentations at Ben Taub Hospital following Houston's citywide ban. These findings are consistent with other state and national data. Houston's ordinance was expected to decrease harmful effects of SC in the community; however, the data suggest an increase in presentations since the legislation was passed. While further study is needed, it initially appears that the threat of SCs is still considerable despite policy efforts. These results suggest the need for further monitoring of SC use and continued collaboration toward effective public health measures.
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