Thanks to ongoing public service announcements on TV and in magazines, most people are well aware that drinking before getting behind the wheel is a bad idea. However, with the legalization of marijuana in states across the country, more and more attention is being paid to the increasing threat caused by those who smoke weed before driving. A threat to both themselves and others on the road, being high on marijuana is just as hard on driving ability as drinking alcohol, and government researchers are working on studies to verify that with solid numbers, according to USA Today.
Marijuana, Alone and in Combination
Data has been collected on both the effect of marijuana use alone and its impact when combined with alcohol – a common combination. Much like the research done to help decide the legal limit for blood alcohol content, this study will help to determine how much marijuana is too much and where the legal cutoff will be for drivers going forward.
Additionally, the study:
- Utilized simulators rather than real driving conditions
- Utilized vaporizers because the research venue is smoke-free
- Asked participants to consume specific amounts of marijuana or marijuana and alcohol
- Verified intoxication levels of participants through saliva and blood tests
- Provided marijuana grown at a federal growing facility
Marilyn Huestis is the Chief of Chemistry and Drug Metabolism at the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Said Huestis: “In this country, there’s a huge controversy over whether there should be zero tolerance or there should be some level that’s acceptable. It’s a terribly difficult problem. We will be looking at what are the kinds of functions that are affected, and whether they are significantly different … whether alcohol is on board or not.”
Curb the Consequences
The negative consequences that can occur when one smokes marijuana or drinks alcohol before driving represent only a small portion of the impact of continued substance abuse. It’s not uncommon for those who chronically abuse marijuana and alcohol to struggle with:
- Health problems, both acute medical emergencies and chronic disorders
- Social issues at work and at home when loved ones are distanced due to choices made under the influence
- Financial difficulties when it becomes difficult to maintain both drug use and employment
- Legal problems if either substance is used outside of local law
If substance abuse is causing you problems in your life, the best way to get those issues under control is to stop using drugs and alcohol altogether. Easier said than done? We’re here to help. Contact us at Alta Mira now and find out about the treatment options we offer that can help you jumpstart your personal road to recovery today.