Thursday, December 08, 2016

Older people toking up

Eight states have legalized recreational pot, and 26 allow medicinal use.

But who is smoking? Not just young people. The Boomers, in fact, have reported higher rates of substance use than any preceding generation.

This is a never before seen cohort of older adults using recreational drugs, says Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, a geriatrican and health services researcher at Langone Medical Center in New York.

Han and his team led a study published in Addiction to determine the prevalence and patterns of cannabis use, attitudes, and other info among adults over age 50.

They looked at 47,140 such adults who responded to an earlier survey on Drug Use and Health.

--They found a 71% increase in marijuana use among adults over 50 between 2006 and 2013.

--Adults over 65 and a lower rate of use that the 50-64 set, but it had increased there by 2.5 times in the right years.

--Only 5% of the adults felt using pot once or twice a week was a health risk.

The researchers thought older people scorned drugs as risky--but surprise, this is the 60s generation.

Since the majority of self-reported users started before age 18, they either used it all this time or started again recently.

Of course, researchers worry about brain changes, already a worry in the elderly, and many older people use it for pain control, but the team persisted in wondering if it could lead to more falls.

Awww, maaan, chill.

No comments: