Driving Under The Influence of Prescription Drugs

drugged-drivingWith more people than ever taking prescription narcotics, the likelihood that people will drive under the influence is that much greater. Even though prescription drugs are legal, it does not remotely mean that they are safe to drive with in one’s system. Developed nations have requirements that prescription bottles warn of the dangers of operating heavy machinery while taking the drug. Unfortunately, a number of people choose to drive despite the warning labels, meaning that the labels are not a strong deterrent.

New research suggest that warning labels are not enough and most people drive while under the influence of the prescription drugs, ScienceDaily reports. The findings will be presented at the Tackling Drug Driving in Queensland: Leading Research and Contextual Issues symposium in Brisbane, Australia.

Use Care When Operating A Vehicle

Road safety researcher Dr Tanya Smyth, from the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety, said that driving while taking some prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of illegal drugs. Smythe found that warning labels and pharmacist consultations were the chief systems used for controlling drugged driving, according to the article. Such methods are ineffective when you consider that prescription drug users have to self-assess their impairment, a subjective gauge to say the least.

“The biggest problem is that research has shown drivers are unable to accurately self-assess their impairment when taking medication and are overconfident in assessing their abilities,” said Smythe.

May Cause Drowsiness

In the 21st Century, many prescriptions are filled online and are sent to people’s home. This means that a number of patients are not being consulted with by pharmacists. Dr Smyth said prescription drug users were not receiving important advice from pharmacists, the article reports.

“This limits their exposure to verbal warnings, and increases the likelihood of people having to rely on labels.”

Smyth added that more research is required to fully understand how medications affect individuals.

“Some medications can cause a variety of impairments including drowsiness, increased reaction time, loss of mental concentration, shakiness and affect coordination and these all make it unsafe to drive, cycle or use machinery”.

Please contact Next Step Intervention if you are struggling with prescription drugs. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you start your journey of recovery.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Impacts the Economy

drunk-drivingDriving under the influence of alcohol has a serious impact on society. Every year, thousands of lives are lost because people get behind the wheel with alcohol in their system. Preventing drunk driving, not only saves lives, it also has a positive impact on the economy, Reuters reports.

A new study has found that the reduction in drunk driving over the past few decades contributed to 5 percent of the $200 million compounded average annual growth in the gross domestic product from 1985 to 2013. Since 1984-86, alcohol related car crash reductions created 215,000 jobs and:

  • Increased economic output in 2010 by an estimated $20 billion.
  • Increased the U.S. gross domestic product by $10 billion.
  • Increased U.S. income by $6.5 billion.

In the United States, the study showed that alcohol played a part in about 12 percent of car crashes in 2010, according to the article. In 1984 to 1986, the number of people involved in car crashes due to alcohol was around double what it was in 2010.

“Alcohol-involved crashes drag down the U.S. economy,” the researchers wrote. “On average, each of the 25.5 billion miles Americans drove impaired in 2010 reduced economic output by $0.80. Those losses are preventable.”

The country will continue to see economic gains as alcohol-related car crashes continue to become less common, said Ted Miller, a study author from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“We know where to move to get more reductions,” said Miller. “We need to hold the course and keep expanding it.”

The findings were published in the journal Injury Prevention.

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