Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 800.239.2901

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Making an Emergency CallFrom Pigs to Peacocks, What's Up With Those 'Emotional-Support Animals'?Global Aid Programs Shortchange Teen Health Needs: StudyDoctors Write Fewer Opioid Scripts After Learning of Overdose DeathHow to Become an Educated PatientU.S. Murder, Suicide Rates Climbing AgainTo Boost Colon Cancer Screening, Use the MailMajority in U.S. Support Medical Pot, Think It Could Fight Opioid CrisisWhey Powder Blamed for Salmonella Tied to Ritz Crackers, Goldfish: FDAToo Few Americans Getting Screened for Cancer: CDCYou Have 11 Seconds to Tell Your Doc What's WrongFDA Warns of Deaths Tied to Tainted Synthetic PotWhere Are Opioid Painkillers Prescribed the Most?In the ICU, Patients' Relatives Often Mum About Care ConcernsResetting E-Prescriptions for Opioids Helps Curb Use: StudyHealth Tip: If You're 45 or Older, Get Screened for Colorectal CancerRed Cross Issues Nationwide Call for Blood DonationsDoctor Burnout Widespread, Helps Drive Many Medical ErrorsWarming Climate, More AC -- and More Unhealthy Smog AheadEven at 'Safe' Levels, Air Pollution May Boost Diabetes RiskDeath Certificate Data May Miss Many Opioid ODs: StudyRaise the Bar on CPR, Heart Group SaysWhen DEA Cracked Down on Opioids, Abusers Moved to Black Market: StudyStigma of Safe Needle Exchanges Lingers Despite Opioid EpidemicAHA: Drones a Lifesaver for Cardiac Arrest Patients?Millions Die Worldwide Each Year for Lack of Quality CareTips for Handling a Medical EmergencyAHA: Lifesaving Info Not Always a 911 Call AwayMany, But Not All, Hospitals Require Flu Shots for StaffersCancer Care Twice as Costly in U.S. Versus CanadaAHA: Health Concerns Haunt Puerto Rico as New Hurricane Season BeginsPot, Opioids Now Rival Alcohol as Factor in Driver DeathsThe ER or Urgent Care?Trumps Signs Bill Allowing Terminal Patients to Try Unproven MedicinesTough State Drunk Driving Laws Save LivesE-Cigarettes Don't Help Smokers Quit, But Cash MightSmall World? Not With One-Quarter Obese by 2045A Pill to Protect You From the Sun? Don't Believe It, FDA SaysMost Hospitals Aren't Ready for Mass Tragedies, ER Docs SayAHA: Making America's Doctors Look More Like AmericaLanguage Used in Medical Record Can Affect Patient CareNonprofit Manufacturer Could Keep Generic Drug Costs DownOpioid Makers' Perks to Docs Tied to More PrescriptionsFDA Targets Clinics Offering Unapproved Stem Cell TherapiesLittle 'Quit-Smoking' Help at U.S. Mental Health CentersIs Testing for Zika in U.S. Blood Supply Worth the Cost?'Smoke-Free' Rooms Still Loaded With Smoke Residues, Study FindsAHA: Smoke-Free Laws Do Seem to Help Young Adults' HeartsAHA: Poverty Levels Key to States' Performance on Heart DiseaseSimple Drug Packaging Change Could Save Toddlers' Lives
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Pot, Opioids Now Rival Alcohol as Factor in Driver Deaths

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: May 31st 2018

new article illustration

THURSDAY, May 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Pot and opioids have become almost as deadly as booze for drivers, a new report shows.

Forty-four percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs in 2016, up from 28 percent 10 years prior, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Among drivers killed in car crashes in 2016 who tested positive for drugs, 38 percent had some form of marijuana in their system, 16 percent had opioids and 4 percent used both, the researchers found.

"Too many people operate under the false belief that marijuana or opioids don't impair their ability to drive, or even that these drugs make them safer drivers," Jonathan Adkins, GHSA executive director, said in an association news release.

"Busting this myth requires states to expand their impaired driving campaigns to include marijuana and opioids along with alcohol, to show drivers that impairment is impairment, regardless of substance," he added.

Although drunk driving is still a threat on the road, the number of drunk drivers killed in crashes dropped slightly over 10 years, falling from 41 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in 2016, according to the report.

Some of the same strategies used to curb drunk driving could be used to deter drugged driving, though several unique challenges remain, the authors of the report said.

For example, no nationally accepted way of testing drivers for drugs exists, they explained. Also, there are a large number of drugs to test for, and different drugs have different effects on individual drivers.

According to Jim Hedlund, a former senior official with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Drugs can impair, and drug-impaired drivers can crash. But it's impossible to understand the full scope of the drugged driving problem because many drivers who are arrested or involved in crashes, even those who are killed, are not tested for drugs."

Adding to these concerns is how often drivers mix drugs and alcohol. In 2016, just over half of drivers who died in a crash and tested positive for drugs had two or more drugs in their system, while 49 percent who tested positive for alcohol also tested positive for drugs, according to the news release.

Ralph Blackman is president and CEO of Responsibility.org., a foundation that promotes responsible use of alcohol. He said, "Alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving can no longer be treated as separate issues. Drunk driving, which was involved in 28 percent of 2016 traffic fatalities, remains a critical issue; however, to curb impaired driving, we have to think about the combination of substances drivers are often putting into their systems at the same time."

To help stop drugged driving, the Governors Highway Safety Association and Responsibility.org have joined forces to train nearly 1,000 police officers to recognize and deter drugged drivers.

More information

For more about drugged driving, visit the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.