Study Highlights Beyond 40% of Alcohol or Cannabis Users Drove While Intoxicated Recently

According to CNN, beyond 40% of the drivers who reported alcohol and cannabis consumption during a national survey also claim they’d driving while intoxicated by one or both substances.

alcohol and cannabis“Alcohol and cannabis are two of the most common substances involved in impaired driving and motor vehicle crashes” throughout the U.S., explained Priscila Dib Gonçalves. Gonçalves is also a postdoctoral research fellow at the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health’s epidemiology department.

Other research reveals that alcohol or cannabis consumption prior to driving may impair physical movements and cognitive function that affects driving performance. Furthermore, using both substances with one another has resulted in more fatal and severe driving-related issues compared to using only one substance, particularly among younger individuals. However, there still has yet to be a nationally representative study showcasing how these substances interact with each other in adults 16 years of age or older.

According to the study, over 34,000 drives responded to the survey between 2016 and 2019. Over half of those participants said that they did not drive under the influence. However, 42.3% claimed they’d driven while intoxicated.

More than 8 percent of the participants said they participated in daily alcohol consumption, with almost 20 percent claiming daily cannabis use. Nearly 28 percent of the participants said they used both drugs together.

“The high prevalence of people using both alcohol and cannabis who also reported driving under the influence in the past year was striking,” explained the senior author of the study, Pia Mauro. she’s a Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health assistant professor of epidemiology. “Two in 5 people in the sample reported driving under the influence, which indicates that it is not a rare occurrence among people using these substances.”

The study revealed that those who used both cannabis and alcohol had a three times higher chance of driving under the influence of cannabis, as well as 3.5 times as likely to drive while impaired by both drugs.

“In the context of increasing daily cannabis use among adults, our findings connecting daily cannabis use and DUI raises public health concerns,” Mauro said in a news release. “Population changes in cannabis use frequency that may be associated with health hazards, including daily use, need to be continuously monitored.”

As the cannabis space continues its growth, it’s crucial to be aware of how related products interact with alcohol. Abstaining from drinking while consuming cannabis mitigates some of the risks of driving while impaired. But the main method for avoiding intoxicated driving is to never get behind the wheel after consuming either substance.

Ultimately, the demand for a reliable roadside cannabis test is there; it’s only a matter of time before this happens.

What do you think? Is this something people should be concerned about? Or is this a select group of people giving the rest of the consumers a bad name?

Let us know in the comments below!

Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He's passionate about helping cannabis businesses use content to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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