Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pot Plus Booze Doubles Odds for Drunk Driving, Study Says

U.S. News and World Report, April 14, 2015

"Drinkers who smoke marijuana as they imbibe are twice as likely to drive drunk compared with people who stick to alcohol alone, a new study reports.

These 'simultaneous' users are also three times more likely to face social troubles as a result of drinking and marijuana -- drunken brawls, broken marriages, damaged relationships and ruined careers among them.

'There are a lot of problems related to alcohol, and marijuana seems to potentially enhance the effects of alcohol in causing these problems,' said study co-author William Kerr, associate director of the Alcohol Research Group.

Many states have authorized medical marijuana use, and four -- Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska -- have legalized recreational pot.

'If cannabis use becomes more prevalent as U.S. states and other countries continue to legalize it, then we need to be prepared to advise people appropriately,' said lead author Meenakshi Subbaraman, an associate scientist at the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute. 'If you use both substances together, your risk of drunk driving, and possibly other consequences, may be higher than if you stick to using one at a time.'

Drugs like marijuana and cocaine are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol at the time of the accident." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here to learn more about preventing youth substance abuse.

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