• 2001 National Findings on Drugged Driving

    The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Formerly called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), its 2001 survey findings included information obtained from 69,000 respondents about the prevalence of drugged driving. Respondents aged 12 or older were asked whether they had driven a vehicle during the past 12 months while under the influence of illegal drugs alone or in combination with alcohol.

    In 2001, over 8 million persons aged 12 or older, or 3.6% of the U.S. population, reported driving under the influence of illegal drugs during the past year.  This was an increase from the rate of 3.1% in 2000.

    Demographic Variations in Drugged Driving:

    In 2001, rates of drugged driving generally followed the same patterns as rates of overall current illicit drug use. The rate of drugged driving increased with each year of age and peaked at 16% among 19 year olds and generally decreased with increasing age among those aged 20 or older.

    Rates of drugged driving increased from 2000 to 2001 for most ages from 18 years to 34 years of age.

    In 2001, males (5%) were more than twice as likely as females (2%) to report driving under the influence of illegal drugs. The 2001 rate of drugged driving among males was an increase from 4% in 2000.

    In 2001, the rate of drugged driving was higher among white persons than among Hispanic, black, or Asian persons.

    The 2001 rate of drugged driving among white persons (4%) increased from 3% in 2000.

    Variations by Employment Status:

    Among adults aged 18 or older, those who were unemployed or classified as full-time or part-time students were the most likely to report driving under the influence of illegal drugs in the past year, followed by part-time workers and full-time workers.

    Drugged driving rates were lowest among persons not in the labor force, such as retired or disabled persons, and homemakers.

    Why is Drugged Driving Hazardous?

    There are many hazards associated with drugged driving. It is primarily because drugs acting on the brain impair one’s motor skills, reaction time, and judgment. Therefore, drugged driving is a public health concern because it puts not only the driver at risk but also passengers and others who share the road.




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