Are younger or older Australians more likely to be hospitalised due to cannabis use?

Australians aged 20-29 years accounted for the largest proportion of hospital separations due to cannabis use disorders in 2017-18 (42%).

Australians aged less than 15 years accounted for 0.8% of hospital separations due to cannabis use, those aged 15-19 years accounted for 13%, those aged 20-29 years accounted for 42%, those aged 30-39 years accounted for 23%, those aged 40-49 years accounted for 11%, those aged 50-59 years accounted for 8%, and those aged 60+ years accounted for 3%.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). National Hospital Morbidity Database, 2017-18 (NCETA secondary analysis, 2019).

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

Cannabis Use Disorder: A disease, disorder or condition which was directly caused by the individual’s own cannabis use.

Hospital Separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be:

  • a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death); or
  • a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

Separation also means the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, transferring to another hospital, changing type of care, or dying.