Don’t Drive Drugged

As mentioned in our last post about the rise of marijuana usage among teens, there is a growing concern about the viewpoints of teenagers and marijuana. Fewer and fewer teens are seeing marijuana as a dangerous drug, which is leading to rising rates of daily marijuana use, as well as other illegal drugs.

Marijuana is the #1 abused illegal drug by teenagers. With a growing occurrence of drug use, there is also a growing concern of driving under the influence of marijuana and other prescription and/or illegal drugs.


Drugged driving can distort your perceptions and impair your judgement on the road.

Drugged Driving Just as Dangerous As Drunk Driving

It’s common knowledge that drinking and driving is dangerous. Implications of DUI and other legal ramifications make it clear that drunk driving is against the law and could lead to car accidents, personal injury and even death. It’s a growing myth; however, that driving under the influence of marijuana is safer and not as harmful as drunk driving. More and more people are driving drugged. In fact, according to, “Thirteen percent of high school seniors reported driving under the influence of marijuana in the prior two weeks, a number nearly equivalent to those who reported driving under the influence of alcohol (14%), despite higher prevalence of alcohol consumption among teens.

The NCADD makes it clear that “drugged driving” is just as dangerous as drunk driving. They point out that:

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Roadside Survey, more than 16% of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter (OTC) medications (11% tested positive for illegal drugs).
  • In 2009, 18% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one drug (illegal, prescription and/or over-the-counter).
  • The Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) found that 1 in 12 high school seniors reported driving after smoking marijuana.

Signs of Drugged Driving

Drugged driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Drugged driving can involve driving after getting high on marijuana or even prescription pain killers. In some states, drivers are also at risk for receiving DUI if they test positive for illegal substances, not just alcohol.

Specifically for marijuana users, driving drugged is especially dangerous. The NCADD’s drugged driving report explains, “THC, the high producing element in marijuana, affects areas of the brain that control body movements, balance, coordination, memory and judgment.  Evidence from both real and simulated driving studies indicate that marijuana negatively affects a driver’s attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and ability to draw on information obtained from past experiences. Research also shows that impairment increases significantly when marijuana use is combined with alcohol.”

As drug use becomes the #1 concern for childhood health, drugged driving will become more and more of an issue. Do your part to ensure the roads stay safe, and teenagers get off drugs.

Make sure you teen isn’t driving drugged. Learn the signs of marijuana use.

Get parenting advice for talking to your kids about drugs.

In Kansas City? Get your teen tested for marijuana or other drugs if you suspect drug use and want to stop drugged driving.

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