(HealthDay)—Physicians, pharmacists, and public health officials play an important role in educating individuals about the risks of impaired driving caused by marijuana or opioids, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) funded by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
Among drug-tested, fatally injured drivers in 2016, 38 percent tested positive for some form of marijuana, 16 percent tested positive for opioids, and 4 percent tested positive for both marijuana and opioids. The report is based on a survey of state highway safety offices on their challenges and strategies for dealing with marijuana- and opioid-impaired driving.
Key challenges that were identified include that there is no nationally accepted method for testing driver drug impairment; there are an unwieldy number of drugs to test for; and different drugs have different impairing effects in different drivers. While detecting drug-impaired driving primarily falls to law enforcement, reducing marijuana- and opioid-impaired driving will require partnering across the public health, pharmaceutical, and marijuana industries to educate patients and customers about the potential impairing effects of these drugs.
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