A second poster presented at the AAAP meeting examined “impact on the healthcare system” and showed that 10,532,658 ED visits due to any type of substance abuse occurred between 2007 and 2011 in the United States.
During that period, cannabis-related ED visits increased 67.8%, and alcohol-related visits increased by 49%. Also increasing were visits related to opioids (by 42%), hallucinogens (40.4%), sedatives (40%), and amphetamines (20.6%).
Interestingly, the percentage of visits related to cocaine use decreased by 67.9%.
“This poster is definitely starting to bring out some of the real concerns that I have as a healthcare provider ― that you are exposing more people to higher potency and riskier forms of the substance. This is not the shake weed that somebody smoked in the ’70s. This is four times more potent. It’s a much riskier proposition than a lot of people think.” Dr Ryan Caldeiro