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The Opioid Crisis

More people die under the influence of drugs than alcohol, report says

More people die under the influence of drugs than alcohol, report says

A new report has revealed that nearly half of all Americans killed in car crashes in 2016 had drugs in their systems.

Nearly 40 percent of those fatally injured had some form of marijuana in their system, and 16 percent had taken opioids just before their death.

As marijuana is legalized in more and more US states and the opioid epidemic rages, research suggests that drugs are responsible for more deadly car crashes than alcohol.

Almost half of the deceased traffic accident victims had one or more drugs in their blood in 2016.

On the other hand, the number of positive alcohol tests has declined since 2006, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association report released Thursday.

A new report revealed that nearly half of all Americans killed in car crashes in 2016 had drugs in their systems, while the death rate for drunk driving dropped from 41 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in 2016.

More than 37,461 people die in car accidents in the US each year.

But alcohol and drugs — especially opioid overdoses — have far surpassed cars as the leading killers of young Americans.

In 2016 alone, an estimated 64,000 people died of opioid overdoses in the U.S., making it the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50.

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) now suggests that drugs—of all types and in all combinations—are also behind an alarming share of car deaths.

Drugs were found in the bloodstream of 28 percent of Americans who died in car wrecks in 2016, up 28 percent over the past decade.

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And the main culprits were marijuana and opioids. More than half of the deceased tested positive for one or both of these drugs.

Opioids, like alcohol, are depressants, slowing down the brain and the wider nervous system, resulting in slow processing of information and reactions, and even putting some to sleep behind the wheel.

The dangers of driving under the influence of either are obvious and well-documented, and restrictions against it are strictly enforced.

But the effects, dangers and therefore regulation of marijuana is more complex.

Marijuana affects everyone differently, so it can act as a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen depending on who is using it and in what form it was ingested, according to the University of Maryland.

Research into the potential health hazards is still in its infancy, but there has only been one reported death from an “overdose” of marijuana, and that was in an infant.

The lack of evidence against it undoubtedly helped convince 29 states in the US to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use.

However, only 18 states have passed laws prohibiting or restricting driving under the influence of marijuana.

Yet 38 percent of drivers who died in crashes in 2016 tested positive for some form of marijuana.

That’s more than double the 16 percent of car crash victims who were affected by opioids at the time of death that year.

While the US remains the fourth highest-grossing country for drunk driving, the situation has improved somewhat.

In 2006, 41 percent of fatally injured drivers had alcohol in their system. in 2016, the same proportion of people killed this way – 38 – drank alcohol as used marijuana.

Although alcohol was involved in these fatal crashes, drugs were often present as well, with about half of those who drank testing positive for drugs. also.

“Drugs can make it worse and drug-impaired drivers can crash. However, it is impossible to understand the full extent of the drug-impaired driving problem because many drivers who are arrested or involved in accidents, even those who are killed, are not tested for drugs. Drivers who test positive for drugs are not necessarily impaired,” said report author Dr Jim Hedlund.

One of the reasons marijuana-impaired driving isn’t more strictly controlled is that neither scientists nor authorities have developed a quick and reliable way to test how high people are in the field.

In light of the findings of its report, the GHSA recommends that more resources be poured into assessment tools, rigorous prosecution of those who drive under the influence of any substance, better education and awareness campaigns about the potential dangers of driving after using even decriminalized drugs.

“Too many people operate under the false belief that marijuana or opioids do not impair their ability to drive, or even that these drugs make them safer drivers,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.

“Dispelling this myth requires states to expand their alcohol-impaired driving campaigns to include marijuana and opioids along with alcohol to show drivers that impairment is an impairment regardless of the substance.”

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