Marijuana and alcohol were the most common substances leading to hospitalization of youth aged 10 to 24 across the country, says a report that highlights the prevalence of mental-health conditions as contributing factors.
About 23,500 people in that age group were hospitalized for harm caused by substance use, amounting to an average of 65 hospitalizations every day between April 2017 and March 2018, says the Canadian Institute for Health Information in a report released Thursday.
Overall, cannabis was documented in almost 40 per cent of hospitalizations and alcohol was associated with 26 per cent of hospital stays, says the report that calls for improved access to initiatives that reduce risks and harms from substance use, more mental-health and support services as well as early treatment strategies.
Jean Harvey, director of the institute’s population and health initiative, said the data show only the “the tip of the iceberg” because they don’t include care in emergency rooms, family doctors’ offices, addiction centres or deaths from overdose.
The report is also based on data collected before cannabis was legalized last October, suggesting the information is a baseline for further research involving youth drug use, Harvey said.
“We need to be protecting kids, we need to be educating kids that just because it is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe,” she said. “I think it can be a bit of a wake-up call for parents and those who are working with youth.”
READ MORE: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/pot-alcohol-most-common-cause-of-youth-substance-use-hospitalizations-report-1.4600322