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Addiction. 2017 Mar;112(3):516-525. doi: 10.1111/add.13670. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Demographic trends among older cannabis users in the United States, 2006-13.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
2
Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA.
3
Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

The ageing US population is providing an unprecedented population of older adults who use recreational drugs. We aimed to estimate the trends in the prevalence of past-year use of cannabis, describe the patterns and attitudes and determine correlates of cannabis use by adults age 50 years and older.

DESIGN:

Secondary analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health survey from 2006 to 2013, a cross-sectional survey given to a nationally representative probability sample of populations living in US households.

SETTING:

USA.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 47 140 survey respondents aged ≥ 50 years.

MEASURES:

Estimates and trends of past-year use of cannabis.

FINDINGS:

The prevalence of past-year cannabis use among adults aged ≥ 50 increased significantly from 2006/07 to 2012/13, with a 57.8% relative increase for adults aged 50-64 (linear trend P < 0.001) and a 250% relative increase for those aged ≥ 65 (linear trend P = 0.002). When combining data from 2006 to 2013, 6.9% of older cannabis users met criteria for cannabis abuse or dependence, and the majority of the sample reported perceiving no risk or slight risk associated with monthly cannabis use (85.3%) or weekly use (79%). Past-year users were more likely to be younger, male, non-Hispanic, not have multiple chronic conditions and use tobacco, alcohol or other drugs compared with non-past-year cannabis users.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of cannabis use has increased significantly in recent years among US adults aged ≥ 50 years.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; cannabis; epidemiology; geriatrics; older adult; substance use

PMID:
27767235
PMCID:
PMC5300687
DOI:
10.1111/add.13670
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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