Cannabis Misuse on the Rise Among Older Adults, Study Shows

Cannabis Misuse on the Rise Among Older Adults, Study Shows

You may not think of your grandparents or their friends when it comes to marijuana use. Yet, the trends may be going in the wrong direction, a recent study shows. It isn’t such a small corner of the population, either. According to the data, there has been a noticeable increase in cannabis-related disorders among Medicare recipients 65 and older. The research used statistics from five years (2017-2022) and concentrated on medical claims mentioning cannabis-related problems.

So, why are so many seniors turning to marijuana consumption, and what are the ramifications of this shocking trend?

From the studies, it appears many people were using marijuana in states that had legalized cannabis. Individuals from physicians to politicians have voiced opinions regarding the medicinal use of marijuana, and there are now almost 15,000 cannabis dispensaries across the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center. With the floodgates now seemingly open, it’s important to remember that cannabis is a drug, whether legal or not, and there are still risks of addiction and other harmful effects that come with it.

Depending on the type of cannabis, it can affect your lungs, heart, and blood pressure and increase your risk of certain vascular diseases.

We may not often think of older adults becoming prone to addiction, but it happens more than you might think. With the mental health and substance use crises continuing to rise, our seniors are not immune to the devastating effects of drug abuse. Since marijuana is often a gateway drug, we can’t dismiss the possibility of cannabis leading to other problematic substances, like opioids.

It’s crucial that people have all the factual information regarding cannabis use and that we don’t fall prey to the commercialization and marketing attempts that make marijuana seem innocent. It is a drug with the potential to cause severe addiction, and our older adult population deserves to be well-informed of that fact.

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