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How drugs could jeopardize Connecticut drivers

Motorists who operate vehicles after consuming drugs pose a distinct risk on the roads of Connecticut and other states. Alcohol and other psychoactive drugs impact the way people's brains operate. Such changes in cognitive function may contribute to further shifts in perception, with most scientific evidence suggesting that some motorists can become notably impaired. In 2013, millions of people nationwide admitted to using various drugs while driving.

Research released by the National Institutes of Health indicates that drugged driving causes accidents. The NIH also admits that the numbers are difficult to quantify; the statistics it provided seemed to confirm the need for additional data. The agency says that THC, the active compound in cannabis products and marijuana, was found in the blood of around 4 to 14 percent of motorists who perished in accidents, but the years these statistics corresponded to was unclear. Opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines and other prescription drugs accounted for a notable percentage of incidents in a 2003 Maryland study, but data for other states and prescription drug derivatives were absent.

Of note was the fact that many motorists who abused substances and then drove were under the age of consent, but data only went as far back as 2011. Two key takeaways were that drug mixes were commonly implicated in accidents and that drugged driving is dangerous in general.

Car accidents can cause personal injuries that make it far harder for motorists to maintain their standards of living. Those who survive may have to deal with significantly reduced physical capabilities or increased living costs due to medical expenses. Car accident victims often pursue civil litigation to recover damages following wrecks where irresponsible drug use was suspected or confirmed by criminal investigations.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse , "DrugFacts: Drugged Driving", December 30, 2014

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