16th July 2024
Foreign News Health News

US Health Survey Shows Daily Consumption Of Cannabis Surpassing Daily Alcohol Consumption.

The landscape of substance use in the United States of America is shifting, with a recent study revealing that the number of daily or near-daily cannabis users now surpasses those who drink alcohol as frequently.

Published in the journal Addiction and based on data spanning four decades from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the research highlights a significant trend.

In 2022, an estimated 17.7 million Americans reported using cannabis daily, surpassing the 14.7 million who reported daily alcohol consumption.

Despite this shift, alcohol remains the more prevalent substance overall. However, the study indicates a remarkable 15-fold increase in the per capita rate of daily or near-daily cannabis use between 1992 and 2022.

This increase is striking when compared to the less than one million individuals who reported near-daily cannabis use in 1992, marking the lowest reported usage since the study’s inception in 1979.

The Chief Medical Officer at EO Care, a medicinal cannabis firm, Dr. Brooke Worster, suggests that the increased cannabis use may stem from various factors, including the normalization of its use, leading more individuals to openly report their consumption.

“The rates have not changed as dramatically as the survey indicates,” she told the BBC. “People don’t feel as scared to admit they’re using it.”

Dr. Worster also noted that the industry for legal cannabis products has experienced explosive growth in the past two decades. This growth has led to a marketplace that includes many older adults, indicating a broadening acceptance and utilization of cannabis products across diverse age groups.

“It’s not just a 20-year-old pothead in a dorm room any more,” said Dr Worster.

In the US, the recreational use of cannabis is permitted in 24 states and the District of Columbia, while 38 states have legalized its medicinal use. Despite growing state-level acceptance, the federal government has yet to legalize or decriminalize cannabis.

However, in a groundbreaking move, the Justice Department recently took steps to reclassify cannabis. This shift would move cannabis from a Schedule I controlled substance, on par with heroin, to a Schedule III substance.

This change represents the most significant drug reform in over half a century and could have far-reaching implications for the legal status and perception of cannabis in the country.

President Joe Biden noted, “Far too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana.”

Worster highlighted that the common misconception of cannabis as a “gateway” to other drugs is not supported by medical research spanning several decades. The majority of cannabis users do not escalate to using harder drugs.

However, she cautioned that younger adults and those using high-potency cannabis products are at risk of developing a cannabis-use disorder.

While cannabis-use disorder does not typically lead to organ damage or death, as seen with alcohol or opioid-use disorders, it can still result in significant health and social problems that greatly affect an individual’s quality of life and safety.

“It signifies the need for guidance and oversight for high-frequency users,” Dr Worster said.

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