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Risk factors associated with driving under the influence of drugs in the USA


Background Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is a burgeoning public health concern in the USA. Because little is known about individuals who engage in DUID, the purpose of this study was to analyse potential sociodemographic characteristics and behavioural risk factors associated with the behaviour.

Methods Self-reported data from drivers ≥18 years of age who ever used drugs and participated in the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health were used. Characteristics of those who reported to engage and not engage in DUID were compared via frequencies, percentages and logistic regression analyses, which accounted for the multistage survey design.

Results Among eligible respondents, 10.4% (weighted n=117 275 154) reported DUID. DUID was higher among those aged 18–25 year (34%), males (65%), unmarried individuals (61%), lesbian/gay/bisexuals (13%), those whom abused or were drug dependent (45%), engaged in numerous risky lifestyle behaviours (12%) and those taking medication for a mental health issue (22%). Nearly 20% and 6% of respondents engaged in DUID abused or were dependent on marijuana or methamphetamine, respectively. The adjusted odds of DUID were greatest among those 18–25 years of age (OR 3.7; 95% CI 2.8 to 5.0), those never/not married (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.5 to 2.2), those who abused or were drug dependent (OR 4.0; 95% CI 3.5 to 4.7), exhibited riskier lifestyle behaviours (OR 8.0; 95% CI 5.9 to 11.0), were employed (OR 1.3; 95% CI 1.1 to 1.6) or lesbian/gay/bisexuals (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1 to 1.7).

Conclusions DUID was common among some population sub-groups who may benefit from intervention.

  • drugs
  • cross sectional study
  • risk factor research

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