Over 60's treated for weed use on NHS. Figures on rise.

Liz Filmer
01 May 2022

A record number of adults over 60 are now on NHS programmes designed to wean them off cannabis. Records show that over-60s admitted to hospital for mental problems linked to cannabis use has also trebled in three years.

Last year 1,094 OAPS received NHS help to deal with their weed issues. That compares with 450 in 2013.

Separate NHS figures tell us that the number of over-60s admitted to hospital due to mental problems linked to cannabis has trebled in just three years.

Many are thought to have been using cannabis since the 1960s or 70s but have only now sought help. Smoking or eating weed can trigger psychosis, depression and anxiety, 

Legendary Rocker Keith Richards has spoken about being unable to kick the habit- despite quitting heroin and cocaine. Keith admitted in 2015: "I smoke regularly, an early morning joint. Strictly Californian."

In 2021, 280 over-60s came to the NHS for help with cannabis problems, compared to 88 with cocaine addictions and 48 hooked on amphetamines.

"This generation is more likely to want to break away from reliance on cannabis. In this day and age, there are other, natural, therapies that can help a person ­remain relaxed, such as mindfulness, meditation – practices that wouldn't have been mainstream when these individuals started to use cannabis back in the 60s and 70s." Nuno Albuquerque of the UK Addiction Treatment Group 

Many older generations are happy smoking cannabis; however, they do it for medicinal and wellness reasons. Users of cannabis range from people in their 60s with kidney failure trying to naturally manage chronic pain to patients in their 90s who want a good night's sleep whilst avoiding traditional sleep medications. Many of them —being "children of the 60s" — are pretty comfortable using medical cannabis and have no intention of stopping. 

Liz Filmer