Senior Cannabis Use: Increasing Substance Abuse Disorders Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Cannabis use among seniors

As more Medicare beneficiaries turn to cannabis, rates of health care encounters involving cannabis-related disorders have increased. A recent study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from nearly 56 million Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older. The findings reveal a concerning trend in cannabis use among older Americans, with implications for health care and policy.

Subheading 1: Rising Rates of Cannabis-Related Disorders

From 2017 through 2022, health care encounters related to cannabis disorders rose among Medicare beneficiaries. These encounters included various cannabis-related issues, from abuse with withdrawal to dependence with intoxication delirium. The increase occurred regardless of a state or territory’s cannabis laws.

Cannabis use among seniors

Subheading 2: Legalization and Health Care Encounters

Rates of cannabis-related disorder encounters were highest in locations where cannabis is legal for both medical and adult recreational use. Researchers observed the greatest increases in nonemergency outpatient settings. Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans experienced higher average annual increases in cannabis-related disorder encounters compared to fee-for-service enrollees.

Subheading 3: Ensuring Safe Cannabis Use Among Older Adults

Strengthening the connection between cannabis and health care is crucial. Open, nonjudgmental conversations between clinicians and patients can help ensure safe cannabis consumption. As awareness grows, older adults need accurate information to make informed decisions about cannabis use.

By Ethan Mitchell

Ethan Mitchell is the visionary founder of CBD Strains Only, a leading online platform dedicated to providing premium CBD products and information. With a passion for holistic wellness and a deep understanding of the benefits of CBD, Ethan's mission is to empower individuals to enhance their well-being through high-quality CBD strains.

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