Surge in Cannabis-Related Health Issues: Cases Tripled Over Decade

Wed 10th Apr, 2024

Image by Dad Grass from PixabayOver the past decade, there has been a significant surge in individuals seeking medical assistance due to health complications stemming from cannabis usage, as reported by the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse (KKH).

According to the KKH, the number of insured individuals requiring outpatient treatment for acute intoxication, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, or psychological issues linked to cannabinoids has soared. In 2012, there were just under 1,300 cases, whereas by 2022, this figure had escalated to approximately 4,000 cases among the fund's insured population. Extrapolating these figures to the general populace reveals a concerning rise from 65,400 cases in 2012 to 209,000 cases in 2022, stated the KKH on Wednesday.

Emphasizing the importance of awareness, Justin Onyechi from the KKH stressed the need for young individuals to comprehend the associated risks of cannabis usage and adopt responsible behaviors. The data indicated a doubling in cases within the 15 to 19 age bracket, from approximately 5,600 to around 11,300, raising concerns about underreported instances.

"Critical risks such as brain damage, psychosis development, or addiction underscore the necessity for informed decision-making, particularly among younger demographics," warned Onyechi. He emphasized that early exposure heightens the susceptibility to adverse effects, including disruptions in brain development and addiction.

To conduct its analysis, the health insurance company scrutinized data from its 1.6 million insured individuals, focusing on diagnosis code F12 denoting "Mental and behavioral disorders caused by cannabinoids."

It is notable that the possession, consumption, and cultivation of cannabis have been legalized for adults as of April 1st, albeit under specified regulations.

Image by Dad Grass from Pixabay


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