Study Shows Rise in Weed-Related Emergency Room Visits Among Older Adults

A new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has revealed a dramatic spike in emergency room visits related to cannabis consumption among older adults.A study published Monday by peer-reviewed Journal of the American Geriatrics Societyfound a 1,808% increase in marijuana-related emergency department trips among California adults age 65 and older between 2005 and 2019.

Benjamin Han, M.D., lead author of the study and a gerontologist in the Department of Geriatrics, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said emergency room visits were dramatic in relation to cannabis. said to have increased to Elderly consumption is a concern for many physicians in his field. In an interview with the University of California, San Diego Today, he noted that the increase is significant because older adults are at higher risk of side effects associated with cannabis and other psychoactive substances.

“Many patients don’t think cannabis has side effects because they often don’t take it as seriously as prescription drugs.” Han said“I see a lot of older adults who are overconfident and say they know how to deal with it, but as they get older their bodies become more sensitive and the concentrations are far greater than what they tried when they were younger. No. Young.”

the studywas funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and was conducted using trend analysis of data obtained from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information. The researchers found that the number of cannabis-related emergency room visits by adults over the age of 65 in California jumped from 366 in 2005 to 12,167 in 2019. I tracked it down. Medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996, and the regulated sale of cannabis for adult use began on January 1, 2018. Emergency room visits spiked during the year, but then leveled off, suggesting recreational marijuana availability has run out, the study found. It increases the risk of going to the emergency room.

Cannabis use rises among legalized American seniors

Over the past two decades, as marijuana legalization efforts have taken hold across the nation, cannabis consumption by older adults has skyrocketed. Older Americans are increasingly using cannabis socially and for a variety of health conditions, and are less aware of the risks of regular marijuana use.

Researchers say new research shows that cannabis use among older adults can lead to unintended consequences requiring emergency medical care for a variety of reasons. Using may slow down your reaction time and reduce your alertness, which may increase your risk of injury and falls. There is also evidence that cannabis can increase the risk of delirium, paranoia, or psychosis, and that marijuana use can interact with prescription drugs and exacerbate pulmonary and cardiovascular problems. There is also

“We know from research with alcohol that older adults are more likely to modify drug use if they perceive it to be associated with undesirable medical symptoms or outcomes. Associating can help change behavior,” said Alison Moore. , MD, co-author of the study and director of the Department of Geriatrics, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “Given all the new forms of cannabis and the combination of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), there is really a lot to learn about cannabis. It helps.”

This study highlights the need for older Americans to have open conversations with their health care providers about their cannabis use. Moore says such conversations should be part of routine medical care, but screening protocols often include cannabis use with illegal drugs.

“Instead, ask questions such as ‘Have you used cannabis (also known as marijuana) for any reason in the last 12 months?’ said Moore. “Health care providers should ask how often cannabis is being used, for what purposes (such as medical purposes for pain, sleep, or anxiety, or recreational purposes to relax), and in what form ( smoking, diet, topical application), and may ask if they know the amount of THC and CBD.Including, if the provider obtains this type of information, about the potential risks of use We can educate our patients.”

Han agreed that patients should discuss cannabis with their doctors before deciding to use it for medical purposes.

“Cannabis may help with some chronic conditions, but it’s important to weigh its potential benefits against risks.

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