By Elise Viebeck - 12/04/12 09:28 PM EST
"Make no mistake – the use of synthetic cannabinoids can cause serious, lasting damage, particularly in young people."
In all, 11,406 of the 4.9 million drug-related ER visits in 2010 involved synthetic marijuana. Most patients were men between the ages of 12 and 29.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is behind a law that bans the drug's chemical ingredients, hailed the study Tuesday.
"This report underscores that a federal ban was right to protect public safety," Grassley said in a statement. "Anyone who might be tempted to try this drug should realize its use can end in tragedy."