Our network

A Prescription Is Not a License to Drive Impaired | Families

Title (Max 100 Characters)

A Prescription Is Not a License to Drive Impaired
A Prescription Is Not a License to Drive Impaired

A prescription does not give you a license to drive impaired. 

The nation has seen a decline in the numbers of people killed or injured as a result of drunk driving.

But it is now time that we recognize and address the similar dangers that can occur with drugged driving.

Prescription drugs have grown to the second most abused type of drug in the country after marijuana, according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

According to a 2007 roadside survey of about 6,000 drivers conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3.9 percent of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for medications such as Loratab, Hydrocodone, Soma, Xanax and Valium.  And in another survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) more than 16 percent of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications. More than 11 percent tested positive for illicit drugs.

Another NHTSA study found that in 2009, among fatally injured drivers, 18 percent tested positive for at least one drug (e.g., illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter), an increase from 13 percent in 2005. Together, these indicators are a sign that continued substance abuse education, prevention, and law enforcement efforts are critical to public health and safety.

How does drug use affect safe driving? Like alcohol, many drugs reduce a driver’s ability to have full control of a motor vehicle. Drugs have different and profound effects on a person’s mood and behavior, depending on the type of drug involved.  Prescription drug use can affect a driver’s alertness, vision, physical coordination, reaction time, and the ability to make the right decisions under pressure. 

Sheriff Mitchum recommends that motorists who take prescription drugs should consult with their health care professional (physician, pharmacist) to find out what effects their medications may have on driving and to always read the instructions, warnings, and side effects that come with the prescription, whether the medication was prescribed by your physician or bought over the counter.

Twiggs Businesses