Medical professionals anticipate that more senior citizens will be using pot in their golden years, with a spate of intended and unintended consequences.
A new study by University of California-San Diego researchers indicates that thousands of the state’s senior citizens are heading to emergency rooms for cannabis-related issues.
According to the study conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, just 366 Californians over the age of 65 visited ERs in 2005 for cannabis-related concerns.
By 2019, that figure had skyrocketed nearly 3200%, when 12,167 seniors made trips to emergency rooms for that reason.
The increase in these cases is causing concern among medical professionals.
“It’s troubling,” Dr. Michael D. Levine, director of medical toxicology at UCLA Health, told The Post. “It corresponds to an overall increase in drug trends and increased marijuana use over the past decade. And I think it’s problematic for multiple reasons.”
At UCLA Health’s Toxicology Clinic in Los Angeles, where Levine has treated many pot-impaired elderly patients, some were so stoned they didn’t even realize why they were seeing a doctor in the first place.
“For example, one that was over their grandson’s house who ate a brownie, not realizing that it was a cannabis brownie,” Levine recalled.
The unwitting grandfather, who reported feeling dizzy and sedated, ended up undergoing MRIs and CT scans to rule out a stroke or early signs of dementia — culminating with a hefty emergency room bill, Levine said.
Many times, he added, “They come in dizzy and vomiting and it’s unclear [why]. No one knows their history.”
California is one of 21 states that permit recreational cannabis use. Medical cannabis is legal in 37 states. Therefore, it is anticipated that more senior citizens will be using pot in their golden years, with a spate of intended and unintended consequences.
As more states legalize marijuana, more older adults are experimenting with the substance, the study’s authors wrote. They may do so for a variety of purposes, including to manage chronic pain, the researchers explained, adding that many may use it socially.
Seniors are at particular risk for negative effects of cannabis use like slow reaction time and impaired attention, which could lead to injuries and falls.
Cannabis can also increase the risk of psychosis, delirium and paranoia, interact with other prescription medications and worsen pulmonary or cardiovascular diseases.
In the past 10 years alone, concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component of cannabis — have more than doubled, raising the risk of psychosis and cannabis use disorder.
Personally, if I remain in California after retirement, I may be one of the ever increasing number who indulge. I don’t think I could abide living in this socialist hellscape entirely sober.
It's absolutely beautiful land, but policies have their outcomes. Even the most beautiful land with plentiful natural resources can become a hellscape when run by the likes of those that run California.
— Intrepid Tactics (@IntrepidTactic) January 13, 2023
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