Drugged Driving Tips

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Is there a national drugged or drunk driving month?

December is National Drugged Driving Month

Recently, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control announced that December would be their National Drugged Driving Month. This is in an effort to bring more attention to the problem of drugged driving. Here are a few facts about drugged driving:

• Drugs other than alcohol are involved in almost 19% of motor vehicle driver deaths
• Often, these drugs (such as marijuana or cocaine) are used in combination with alcohol

Hopefully, the publicity will attract far more attention to drugged driving and reinforce the current awareness programs in effect across the country. And, as with drunk driving, electing a designated driver can help.

   
What drives drug use?

Wants, Needs, Addictions - What Drives Drug Use

Drug use is nothing new to society. It has been on the rise for many years now and, despite the War on Drugs, there seems to be little that can be done to curb the epidemic. What is driving drug use? For most, it is a matter or being unfortunate enough to have that first encounter. Addiction often follows and is the number one driving drug usage in the United States.

Addiction masks itself in a person feeling as if they need the drug to just get by. Others contend that they are not addicted and they just want to feel how the drug makes them feel.

*Drugs driving a person's life can only end badly. If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs, drive to the nearest support facility and get the help that is needed.

   
Is it a mistake to drive under the influence of drugs?

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs - A Mistake for Anyone

Recreational use of drugs happens. People are free to make their own decisions on how to treat their bodies. Some, however, cross the line when they decide to use drugs before driving.

Drug driving has been increasing and the statistics are hard to ignore. Accidents resulting in fatalities are larger, by percentage, for drug driving cases than for drunk driving cases. Drugs (some more than others) can affect a person's mind in a way that would make driving almost impossible. It should be clear that this is not a responsible action, but many simply do not see it.

*Be aware. When you are on the road, pay extra attention to the other drivers on the road. Don't hesitate to report a suspected drugged driver.

   
What are the consequences of drugged driving?

The Terrible Consequences of Drugged Driving

Drug use is considered, by many, to be a victimless crime. "I am only hurting myself" is a common mantra for many drug addicts. However, a drug user can hurt many others when their drug addiction turns into drugged driving.

Beyond hurting others, drugged driving can only have lead to consequences for the user. Whereas alcohol has become far more socially acceptable than recreational drugs, the courts look harder upon drugged driving cases. Prosecutors in drugged driving cases will take into account the drugs that were in use (this can lead to a stiff sentence including fines and jail time).

*Do not let recreational drug use lead to drugged driving. Use a designated driver or be one yourself for others.

   
Is drugged driving a growing problem?

Drugged Driving - A Growing Danger

Across the country drug use has been on the rise for some while. This increase has also lead to a marked increase in drugged driving cases. Drugged driving only differs from drunk driving in the fact that instead of alcohol impairing your driving, other drugs are responsible. Many drugs besides alcohol can impair one's driving abilities. Some drugs have far worse effects than alcohol and lead to traffic accidents and fatalities with far more frequency.

*If you know someone who uses drugs, please help everyone else by helping them. Next time you think they may get on the road after a little party, stop them. You may be saving their life by keeping them from drugged driving. Do the right thing.

   
Can drugged driving lead to episodes of road violence?

Road Rage - A Byproduct of Drugged Driving?

Driving has suddenly become a different experience than it has historically been. 'Road Rage' could have never been conceived by Henry Ford. Today, you never know when the person you are next to could take their anger at the world out on you or your car. Some may consider this a stretch, but could these occurrences by a byproduct of drugged driving?

When people think of drugged driving, they typically think of marijuana or some narcotic. However, drugged driving could be the result of other factors. Many drivers consume enormous amounts of caffeinated beverages—the effects of this on a person's heart and blood can agitate a person as seriously as other drugs (and far more for many people). When you combine these instances with the traditional cases of drugged driving, it is not too far of a leap to see that how people react on the road can be a direct result of drugged driving.

*Think about how all substances you consume affect you before getting in your car. Even substances that seem harmless can have dramatic effects.

   
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.