The effects of drugs on driving have been studied, categorized and reported for many years. Specific drugs’ effects on the brain differ. An example is that marijuana can slow reaction time, impair judgment of time and distance and decrease coordination. Drivers using cocaine or methamphetamine can be reckless and aggressive when driving. There are certain sedatives, called benzodiazepines, which can cause dizziness and drowsiness. All of these impairments can lead to motorist crashes causing injuries and deaths, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH).
NIH says, “It's hard to measure how many crashes are caused by drugged driving. This is because:
- A good roadside test for drug levels in the body doesn't yet exist
- Police don't usually test for drugs if drivers have reached an illegal blood alcohol level because there's already enough evidence for a DUI charge
- Many drivers who cause crashes are found to have both drugs and alcohol or more than one drug in their systems, making it hard to know which substance had the greater effect.”
For many years, the National Family Partnership (NFP) has encouraged everyone to be drug free during its annual National Red Ribbon Campaign®. This year Red Ribbon Week will be October 23 – 31. This year’s theme is “YOLO, Be Drug Free™. The theme was created by sixth grade students in Claysburg, PA.
How the Red Ribbon Campaign got started?
In response to the murder of a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Agent who was tortured and killed by drug traffickers in Mexico in 1985, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. Twenty-eight years ago, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. According to RedRibbon.org, “Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.
Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s largest and oldest drug prevention campaign, reaching 80 million people each year.
“Driving under the influence (DUI) causes many accidents, injuries and deaths in Southwest Florida. We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. have assisted many families when these accidents happen to them and their loved ones. The Red Ribbon national campaign’s efforts to encourage conversation about drug use deserve to be acknowledged and spread throughout our communities,” said HurtByDrunkDriver Attorney, Randall Spivey.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the three most widely used drugs by youth and adults to be alcohol, prescription drugs and marijuana.
HHS reports that more adolescents drink alcohol than smoke cigarettes or use marijuana. Within the past month, more than three out of ten high school seniors report drinking some alcohol, and one in six have engaged in “binge drinking” daily in the past two weeks. Drinking endangers adolescents in multiple ways including motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death for this age group. One in five adolescents has ridden in a car with a driver who had been drinking. Genetic factors and life stressors influence adolescents’ alcohol abuse, but parents and guardians can help by monitoring adolescents’ activities and keeping channels of communication open.
Drugs.com shows that more than one-quarter of drugged drivers in deadly crashes were aged 50 years or older. Abuse of prescription narcotic painkillers is the prescription drug class most frequently abused by adults. Forty-five people die every day from opiod prescription painkillers.
The most commonly abused drugs among teens are Adderall and Ritalin. Adderall and Ritalin are legitimately prescribed to children with ADHD to help them focus and improve mental performance. However, since these drugs can be easily accessed and shared with friends, 7.4 percent of teens have used these drugs within the last 12 months.
The Palm Beach Institute, a drug rehab facility, says that marijuana (cannabis) use ranks second in regards to most commonly abused drugs.
In an article recently published in the Huffington Post, new government research is showing that 6.5 percent of teenagers surveyed in the study smoked marijuana daily, which is up from 2.4 percent in 1993. One in four teens has smoked marijuana within the last thirty days.
The Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program (SDFSP) provides funds for virtually every school district to support drug and violence prevention programs and to assist in creating and maintaining safe learning environments.
Parents are critical influencers of children and teens, and research shows that prevention is most promising when it is directed at impressionable youth according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“Contact our experienced team, if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a driver under the influence,” says Attorney Spivey.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, , Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.