Overcoming Addiction

Healing through harm reduction

Drunk Driving More Deadly than Drugged Driving by Far

Drunk driving is nine times more likely to kill you than drugged driving according to a new study published in The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Read More

We could also use the money

We could also use the money for loans and grants for taxi company start ups, or even to subsidize them so that the cost is cheaper, making it more economical to take a taxi then to drive.

This is a rather specious

This is a rather specious claim. Conventional drug testing does not tell us whether someone is under the influence (or when they were), and other than alcohol, we have absolutely no idea how much of any drug it takes to impair driving for the average person. Add to that the fact that testing for drugs is nowhere near as common as roadside drunk tests/hand-held breathalyzers, and we really have absolutely no idea how many MVA fatalities are caused by drug use.

The original study controlled

The original study controlled for the things you are objecting to. Data came from states where 80% or more of drivers involved in fatalities were drug tested, and alcohol levels as low as 0.01 were included. The study was very well conducted and controlled.

This is seriously what you

This is seriously what you consider "well conducted and controlled"? Seriously? First of all, what about all those states that DIDN'T have "drug information on 80% or more of the drivers who also participated in the 2007 National Roadside Survey"? But most importantly, the data from the NRS itself is complete garbage, and to use THAT as the 'control' group is ludicrous - participation in that survey is VOLUNTARY and relies on drivers being diverted off the road by police to voluntarily supply information that could get them arrested. Add to all that the fact that the presence of ANY alcohol was used as a criteria - even a BAC of .001. A BAC of .001 in no way impairs driving and was in no way related to the MVA, making that information about as valuable as measuring the risk of being involved in a fatal accident with green eyes. Finally, a positive drug screen in no way proves that drug use contributed to the accident, as I have already said (and no "controls" in this study can correct for) - especially since most common drug tests measure metabolites of the drug, not the drug itself, they can not measure how much of the drug was ingested nor how long ago it was taken, and there simply IS no data for what level of cocaine/methamphetamine/heroin/etc. causes a certain level of impairment, compared to the data we have for alcohol. Sorry, Kenneth, but I stand by my original claim: It is a completely specious claim.

You are entitled to your

You are entitled to your opinion. I guess the peer reviewers who approved the paper for publication felt differently.

And I thank the good lord

And I thank the good lord every day I was educated in a program that taught us not to blindly accept crap just because it gets published.

There's a reason why journals on't just publish the abstracts, why a methodology section is required - so readers can evaluate the validity of the conclusions for themselves, not just act like sheep and accept them because the peer reviewers had some pages to fill. If you can't understand the methodological issues involved in basing conclusions on the ratio between drug test results of drivers involved in fatal accidents (read: "apples") to the results of a VOLUNTARY (as in NOT RANDOM) program such as the NRS (read: "oranges"), then you have no business citing the research. Doubly so since you evidently can't understand how the data is skewed in a blatantly misleading and self-serving way by defining "drunk driving" as ANY alcohol in the person's system.

US Administrative Agencies operating "junk science" studies??

I hope you are not implying that agencies of the United States government are wasting funds on studies that have no meaning and do nothing to help us combat the sometimes catastrophic dangers of drunk driving.

That would be wasteful and stupid. Surely the United States would not do anything to undermine its citizens confidence in their elected representatives or to lessen the credibility of serious addiction/drug abuse researchers who are attempting to solve a very complicated and serious problem.

Our government is here to help us, right?

90% vs. 10%!

Driving under the influence of alcohol is JUST AS DANGEROUS as driving under the influence of ANY OTHER DRUG! Being "under the influence" is BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE! The "flavor" of the drug (liquid, solid, or gas!) DOES NOT MATTER! The only reason that 90% of DUI arrests are alcohol related is because: 1.) Alcohol puts out this thing called ODOR that is easily detectable by law enforcement pulling over a suspected DUI offender, and 2.) there are these places called "bars", "nightclubs", etc. where ALCOHOL IS CONSUMED ON SIGHT, they have PARKING LOTS, and idiot alcohol consumers who have LEGAL ACCESS TO MOTOR VEHICLES, drive away from them after consuming alcohol in the bar/nightclub (anyone noticing the pattern yet?). I have been a DUI program counselor in CA for over 10 years now. 90% of the clients I have come across get nailed for ALCOHOL-BASED DUI (the remaining 10% are usually gacked-out on prescription pills, or heroin, or even meth!). Until cops wise-up, and start figuring out how to test for ingestion of non-alcoholic drugs, those "10%ers" WILL CONTINUE TO DUI, and get away with it!

Any Drug?

If it was any drug, then why are we not testing for caffeine? Or anti-psychotics?

Alcohol, because of the way it effects the brain, has a distinct impairment on the functions necessary for heavy machinery operation. Opioids have a similar effect because of its depressant nature, and I would be interested to see a comparative study between alcohol and opioids in terms of operational impairment.

However, none of this matters in terms of the policy directions Mr. Anderson is speaking of. An increase in pubic transportation would be a better way of dealing with DUI's then by forcing offenders into expensive "classes" that convince the offender they are suffering form a disease that will only make them worse...which can lead to the offender re-offending because of their new found belief that they can't stop themselves from re-offending!

You ought to see the law. . . .

Here in CA, the DUI law is SO BROAD, that "any drug" is included, INCLUDING caffeine, nicotine, and ALL prescription medications (and NO "impairment level" of ".08" is stated for a "DUI level" to be reached either!). Anti-alcohol DUI's get all the bad press because easily 90% of DUI's that people get arrested for ARE for DUI of alcohol! But it is technically easier to get a DUI for driving "under the influence of" caffeine, nicotine, or ANY medication (prescription or over the counter!). Having been in the DUI education field for over 10 years, I assure you, I NEVER taught any client that they had some bullshit "disease" that will only be made worse! They were taught that it was THEIR RESPONSIBILITY for what THEY put into their bodies, and that THEY made each and every decision to do so! Public transportation does NOT solve the problem of sociopathic drug and alcohol users having UNRESTRICTED ACCESS to motor vehicles, to their continuing to drive under the influence with them, and to their continuing to drive with impunity until they get caught! Not to mention also, the fact that here in CA, it is EASIER to have your vehicle IMPOUNDED for driving SOBER on a suspended license, vs. getting nailed for DUI, kinda puts all the vehicle access odds on the DUI offender! DUI numbers are NOT going down! The number of offenders in DUI programs is NOT going down! Nor are DUI offenders unrestricted access to motor vehicles!

Illegal for bars to have parking lots. Fantastic

It sort of implies that most people in America will drink to levels that would impair them. I tend to think you are right.

If alcohol did not alter mood very few people would drink it. We don't drink for the flavor, soda pop is better tasting than beer (do a taste test with some 4 year olds if you don't believe that statement) we drink for the ETOH. Ethyl alcohol passes the blood- brain barrier and alters our perception of reality in a pleasant way. That is what we drink alcohol for. To be impaired (or enhanced, depending on if you have an alcohol problem or not).

Thanks for this blog, and thanks for having it hosted on a mainstream/credible site. Americans need to stop listening to politicians when it comes to their health. They probably should stop listening to Hollywood too.

Good distribute Certainly.

Good distribute Certainly. Thank you associated with discussing.

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Kenneth Anderson, MA, is the founder of Harm Reduction for Alcohol and the author of How to Change Your Drinking: A Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol.
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