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Simultaneous Alcohol/Cannabis Use and Driving Under the Influence in the U.S.

Published:February 07, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2021.11.009

      Introduction

      Alcohol and cannabis are commonly involved in motor vehicle crashes and fatalities. This study examines whether simultaneous use of alcohol/cannabis is associated with higher odds of reporting driving under the influence of alcohol and cannabis in the U.S.

      Methods

      Drivers aged ≥16 years with any past-year alcohol and cannabis use in the 2016–2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (N=34,514) reported any past-year driving under the influence of alcohol-only, cannabis-only, both alcohol/cannabis, or not driving under the influence. Survey-weighted associations between simultaneous alcohol/cannabis use and each of the driving under the influence outcomes were computed adjusting for sociodemographics and daily alcohol/cannabis use. Analyses were conducted from November 2020 to September 2021.

      Results

      In 2016-2019, 42% of drivers with past-year alcohol and cannabis use reported driving under the influence (8% alcohol-only, 20% cannabis-only, 14% alcohol/cannabis). Simultaneous alcohol/cannabis use was associated with 2.88-times higher adjusted odds of driving under the influence of cannabis-only (95% CI=2.59, 3.19) and 3.51-times higher adjusted odds of driving under the influence of both alcohol/cannabis (95% CI=3.05, 4.05), compared to not driving under the influence. Associations with driving under the influence of alcohol-only were unexpectedly in the opposite direction (adjusted conditional odds ratio=0.59, 95% CI=0.45, 0.79).

      Conclusions

      Overall, 2 in 5 drivers who used alcohol and cannabis reported driving under the influence of alcohol and/or cannabis. People reporting simultaneous alcohol/cannabis use were more likely to report cannabis-related driving under the influence. Prevention strategies should target individuals reporting simultaneous alcohol/cannabis use to reduce the occurrence of driving under the influence.
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