Drugged Driving Plays Major Role in Traffic Deaths

The title above comes from a September 27, 2013, article on HealthDay.com exposing the large number of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of prescription drugs. The article is based on research to be published in the upcoming November 2013 issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention.

In this study, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analized the risk of a fatal crash associated with driver drug use, as well as the combination of drugs and alcohol. They found that drug use is associated with a significant increase in the risk of fatal crash, particularly when combined with alcohol.

The results of the research showed that drivers who tested positive for drugs were three times more likely to be involved in a lethal crash than those who tested negative. Depressant drugs were shown to be the highest category of drugs associated with a fatal accident. When the researchers looked at the statistics for drivers using alcohol and drugs they found that fatalities were more than 13 times higher for those who were alcohol-positive but drug-negative, and 23 times higher for those who tested positive for both alcohol and drugs.

The author, Dr. Li, professor of Anesthesiology at Columbia, notes, “The possible interaction of drugs in combination with alcohol on driving safety has long been a concern. While alcohol-impaired driving remains the greatest threat to traffic safety, these findings about drugged driving are particularly salient in light of the increases in the availability of prescription stimulants and opioids over the past decade.”

Chiropractic has long been an alternative to drugs for people with many health concerns. “Chiropractic care offers an evidence-based, non-drug approach to effectively addressing many common conditions, and should be the first option of care,” states Gerard W. Clum, D.C., spokesperson, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. “Doctors of chiropractic (D.C.s) have the diagnostic skills and training to evaluate and provide appropriate care and rehabilitation, including counseling on nutrition, ergonomics and lifestyle. Evidence confirms that the care provided by a D.C. is linked with better clinical outcomes, greater patient satisfaction and noteworthy cost savings.”

Dr. Braile, a past president of the International Chiropractors Association, commented, “Our society takes too many drugs. Numerous reports speak to the dangers of prescription drugs from side effects and long term health issues. Now, with the added knowledge of drugged driving and accidents, it is prudent that we turn to non-drug approaches to healthcare. Chiropractic is a drugless profession that, in light of this new study, offers additional public safety benefits.”

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