The Drug Class Blog

Mar 31

Drug Impaired Driving: What are we thinking

Is what we are thinking true? The biggest concern many have around marijuana legalization is the impaired driving issue.  We need to change our thinking.

 

This if from a CTV News Piece.

A new study of young people in British Columbia found what the researchers call “high rates of exposure to driving risks related to marijuana,” with more than three-quarters of frequent users reporting having been in a car or other vehicle when the driver (including themselves) had been using marijuana or other drugs.

The study, based on interviews with 662 youth, found that 80 percent of male frequent users and 75 per cent of female frequent users reported having been in a car or other vehicle when the driver (including themselves) had been using marijuana or other drugs. Meanwhile, 64 percent of male frequent marijuana users and 33 per cent of female frequent marijuana users said they had been “high or intoxicated from marijuana more than once in any situation where (they) were physically at risk (eg. while driving a car, riding a motorbike, using machinery, boating, and so on.

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CAMH survey It’s not just marijuana-impaired driving that the pot users were exposed to: about one-third of frequent users (37 pe cent of males and 31 percent of females) said they had been in a car or other vehicle when the driver (including themselves) had been using alcohol. The numbers were much lower but still concerning among occasional users and abstainers. For example, 28 percent of occasional marijuana users (both male and female) reported having been in a car or other vehicle in the previous 30 days when the driver (including themselves) had been using marijuana or other drugs.

The study, published in Paediatrics & Child Health, used telephone interviews with 662 young people in the Greater Victoria Area over a decade-long period. The young people were between ages 12 and 18 when the research began. The study defined abstainers as those who had not used marijuana in past 12 months, occasional users as those who used at most once and frequent users as those who used more than once per week. The study found 37 percent of males and 52 pe cent of females were abstainers, 42 percent of males and 36 per ent of females were occasional users, and 21 pr cent of males and 12 percent of females were frequent users. The study’s authors concluded that the findings “indicate a failure of current programs and speak to an urgent need for better prevention and intervention strategies to reduce impaired driving or riding with an impaired driver.” “If legalization of recreational use occurs, expenditures should be directed at evidence-informed education that presents an accurate picture of potential harms,” the study’s authors added.

What do you think?

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