Drugs & Health Blog

What Is Drugged Driving?

Image by NIDA. 

The NIDA Blog Team

Drugged driving is driving under the influence of legal or illegal substances. Many people know that it isn’t safe to drive after drinking alcohol. It’s also unsafe to drive after using illicit drugs or after misusing prescription drugs.

Driving under the influence of drugs is dangerous not just for the person using drugs, but also for passengers and other people who share the road. And drugged driving is against the law.

Man in cloud of smoke. What is Drugged Driving? Driving while under the influence of legal or illegal substances. It puts the driver, passengers, and others who share the road in danger. It is illegal in every state. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services logo. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) logo. For more information, visit NIDA's Drugged Driving Drug Facts at drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving.
(Image by NIDA.)

How common is drugged driving?

It’s more common than you might think. Take a look at the statistics in the infographic below.

How Common is Drugged Driving? In 2017, among people of ages 16 or older.. 21.4 million drove after drinking alcohol. 12.8 million drove after using illicit drugs.* In 2016, among people killed in driving accidents: 43.6% of drivers who were drug tested and had positive results. 50.5% were positive for two or more drugs. 40.7 % were positive for alcohol. *illicit drugs = marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or methamphetamine.
(Image by NIDA.)

What are the effects of drugs on driving?

Marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, sedatives, and alcohol all make driving unsafe.

What are effects of Drugs on Driving? Driving under the influence of drugs affects you and everyone around you. Effects of Drugs on Driving: Marijuana—slows reaction time and impairs judgment of time and distance. Methamphetamine or Cocaine—aggressive and reckless behaviors. Opioids—drowsiness and impaired memory and thinking skills. Sedatives (benzodiazepines, barbiturates, etc.)—dizziness and drowsiness
(Image by NIDA.)

How can you help prevent drugged driving?  

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.

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