The purpose of this study was to examine the association between psychoactive drug use and motor vehicle crash (MVC) injuries requiring hospitalization in southern Taiwan. A case–control study was conducted in southern Taiwan from January 2009 to December 2009. The cases included car or van drivers who were involved in MVCs and required hospitalization. Demographic and trauma-related data were collected from questionnaires and hospital and ambulance records. Urine and/or blood samples were collected on admission. The controls consisted of drivers who were randomly recruited while driving on public roads. Study subjects were interviewed and asked to provide urine samples. All blood and urine samples were tested for alcohol and a number of other legal and illegal drugs. Only those subjects who provided urine and/or blood specimens were included in the study. During the study period, 254 case patients and 254 control drivers were enrolled. The analysis showed an odds ratio (OR) of 3.41 (95% confidence intervals (95% CI), 1.76–6.70; p < 0.001) for persons taking benzodiazepines, and an OR of 3.50 (95% CI, 1.81–6.85; p < 0.001) for those taking alcohol (blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) ≥ 0.8 g/l) with regard to hospitalizations due to MVCs. For persons taking combinations of benzodiazepines and alcohol, the OR increased to 5.12 (95% CI: 1.77–15.91, p < 0.001). This study concluded that drug use among motor vehicle drivers increases the risk of MVCs that require hospitalization. From a public health perspective, the high risk ratios are concerning, and preventive measures are warranted.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 16, 2011
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