FRIDAY, July 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the mean weekly cannabis-involved emergency department visit rates among young persons were higher than the corresponding periods in 2019, according to research published in the July 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Douglas R. Roehler, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used National Syndromic Surveillance Program data to examine changes in cannabis-involved emergency department visits among young persons (younger than 25 years) during 2019 to 2022.
The researchers found that among all young people, mean weekly cannabis-involved emergency department visits were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 2021, and 2022 compared with corresponding periods in 2019. Among persons aged 10 years and younger, there were large increases seen in cannabis-involved emergency department visits throughout the COVID-19 pandemic compared with prepandemic surveillance periods in 2019. Among children and adolescents aged 11 to 14 years, emergency department visit rates did not differ by sex until the first half of the 2020-2021 school year when emergency department visit rates among females surpassed those among males.
"Cannabis-involved emergency department visits among young persons increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and remained elevated above prepandemic levels," the authors write. "To protect against unintentional ingestions of cannabis, it is important for adults who use cannabis to safely and securely store cannabis products in places inaccessible to children."