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Screen all patients for cannabis use before surgery: guideline

Substance Use Disorder (SUD is a growing public health problem with an estimated 165 million people among 12 and older in the US using some sort of substances (Cannabis, tobacco, alcohol, kratom, an illicit drug, etc.).

About 18% of people in the US (~48.2 million) used cannabis products at least once in 2019. Frequent use leads to Cannabis Use Disorders (CUD) if continued its use despite causing health and social problems in their lives. The CDC data estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use Cannabis have CUD. Along with several challenges they are already facing, a recent study showed that long-term cannabis use was associated with a 20% increase in the incidence of postoperative complaints including nausea and vomiting. CUD was also associated with increased reports of pain leading to the need for more opioid based medications.

Because of these findings, as per the recommendations from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), all patients who undergo surgical procedures that require regional or general anesthesia should be asked if, how often, and in what forms they use cannabis.

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