Study: Marijuana users nearly 25% more likely to need emergency care and hospitalization

The regular use of marijuana will increase the users change of requiring emergency care by nearly 25%, according to a new study.

The author of the study, Nicholas Vozoris, has cautioned people about becoming complacent about the potential dangers of marijuana.

“Cannabis use is not as benign and safe as some might think,” Vozoris said. “Our study demonstrates that the use of this substance is associated with serious negative outcomes, specifically, ED (emergency department) visits and hospitalizations.”

The student was published in the BMJ Open Respiratory Research Journals. According to CNN, the study was conducted using Canadian residents between the ages of 12 and 65. It was carried out from January 2009 to December 2015.

The study pitted self-reporting users, who are regular users to controlled users, who are defined as people who have not used cannabis at all, or only used it once in the last 12 months. Self-reporting users were approximately 22% more likely to require medical care.

The conclusion of the BMJ report reads: “Although no significant association was observed between cannabis use and respiratory-related ER visits or hospitalisations, the risk of an equally important morbidity outcome, all-cause ER visit or hospitalisation, was significantly greater among cannabis users than among control individuals. Therefore, cannabis use is associated with increased risk for serious adverse health events and its recreational consumption is not benign.”

Vozoris added in a statement to the press, “Physical bodily injury was the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations among the cannabis users, with respiratory reasons coming in a close second.”

“Our research demonstrates that cannabis use in the general population is associated with heightened risk of clinically serious negative outcomes, specifically, needing to present to the ED [emergency department] or be admitted to hospital,” Vozoris said.

“Unlike tobacco, there is some uncertainty or controversy regarding the adverse health impacts of cannabis. Some individuals may perceive that cannabis has some health benefits and is otherwise benign. Our research highlights to those using – or considering to use – cannabis, that this behavior is associated with important negative health events.”

The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 19 states along with Guam, The District of Columbia and Northern Mariana Islands. A further 12 states, which includes the US Virgin Islands, have taken the step of decriminalizing the use of marijuana.



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