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Driving under the Influence … of your meds!

It turns out many folks have no idea that their prescription medications make driving dangerous and put them at risk for a DUI arrest.


A recent 2017 study looked at data from the 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey, in which drivers across America were asked about drug use, including prescription drugs. Almost 20 percent said they had recently taken a prescription medication and yet were unaware the mediation could affect their driving. Yet another 2015 study found that the prevalence of drivers with prescription opioids in their systems at the time of death from a car accident surged from 1 percent in 1995 to 7.2 percent in 2015.

Opioids are a big risk when you are driving (around 35 percent of adult Americans were given a pain killer prescription by medical providers last year). So are other legitimately prescribed meds like antidepressants sedative hypnotics (including diazepam/ Valium and others), antihistamines (Benadryl), decongestants, sleeping pills and medical marijuana. They can compromise your reaction time.

So, read the warnings on medications and ask your doc about driving risks associated with medications and combination of medications so that you are not in a danger to yourself and others.

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