Road traffic injuries and opioid use-related mental disorders were the first and fifth cause of burden of disease in 2003 accordingly. In 2007, a media campaign was carried out to notify the public drivers about random drug tests in roads of the country. The objective of this study was to assess the results of random drug test among large vehicle drivers before and after this campaign.
Methods Two different national roadside surveys were conducted on 1168 and 680 drivers in 2002 and 2008 respectively. In both studies, the subjects were bus and truck drivers and their urine samples were tested by a rapid morphine test at study sites and positive samples were transferred for thin layer chromatography.
Results In 2002, 168 drivers out of 1168 (14.4% 95% CI 95% 12.4 to 16.4) were found to have positive morphine test. The second roadside survey which was conducted after media campaign showed that this proportion has decreased to 9.0% (95% CI 95% 7.0 to 11.4).
Discussion Opioid use among large vehicle drivers is a major public health and road safety issue in Iran which needs more attention. Random drug test supported by a media campaign seems to have promising effects on reducing driving under influence of drugs.
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