According to a study published in the Public Health Reports, driving under the influence of prescription drugs is becoming a large problem in society, causing more fatal driving accidents than ever before.
Today, driving fatalities due to driving under the influence of prescription drugs, including Xanax, Cymbalta, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Sarafem and Abilify, are surpassing those caused by drunk drivers.
“While we’ve seen a decrease over the years in motor vehicle fatalities involving people under the influence [of alcohol], the nature of those crashes is changing,” said study author Fernando Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
How psychotic medicine logically increases risky driving behaviors
The study shows an alarming increase in motor vehicle accidents due to prescription drugs. The mind altering medications do not allow the person’s mind to cope naturally with life’s stressors and periods of depression. The prescription drugs quickly change the chemical levels in the brain (with the intent of a quick fix for depression or anxiety), but confuses the normal functions of the mind. The mind naturally tries to adapt to the quick changes and can become stressed in new ways, which confuses the natural state of the person’s mind, predisposing them to act out of character. In a vehicle, this change could correlate to risky driving behaviors. According to some drug labels, suicidal behavior as a side effect could translate to violent driving patterns in a vehicle.
The use of multiple drugs increases the risk dramatically
The study investigated the characteristics of U.S. drivers involved in fatal crashes between 1993 and 2010. While drug use across the board increased significantly during that time, the percentage of impaired drivers with three or more drugs in their systems nearly doubled during that time, from 11.5% to 21.5%.
Drug use by older adults
A large number of fatal crashes came from prescription drug users (39%) who were 50 years or older. This trend correlates with the increasing reliance on prescription drugs by Americans.
According to the study, 90% of individuals 65 and older have prescription drug expenses.
The authors of the study hope that medical professionals begin counseling patients about the driving impairments posed by prescription drugs.
By 2010, prescription monitoring program were in place in 42 states. These programs, designed to curb illicit drug use and prevent overdoses, also focused on the overuse and abuse of prescription drugs.