What effect do different illegal drugs have on drivers? Do you ever wonder what illicit drugs can you take and still be able to drive safely?
If you take the wheel after you’ve taken drugs you are one of the estimated 3.5-5% of the population who risks it at least once a year; and that is whether you’re into shabu, marijuana, coke, or antidepressants.
Depressants, sometimes called “downers,” come in capsules, tablets, liquid form, cigarettes, or even cakes. Some famous depressant drugs are marijuana, cannabis, ganja, and weed — all of them are basically the same compound.
How can it affect your driving? As an example, cannabis users are twice more likely to be involved in an accident. This is because it inhibits the body’s reaction time since it slows down the brain function, therefore reducing your attention span while increasing your reaction time – a common side effect which would make you very vulnerable to accidents when driving.
It’s also crucial for you to judge your speed, road position, and distance when driving; and all of this are inhibited by the aftereffects of this drug making even reading road signs hard as it distorts the sensory functions of the body.
You might think that stimulants will make you more alert and therefore make you a better driver, but actually they do the opposite because what they do is make your mind lose its focus, and so you’ll have a hard time judging and making decisions.
Ecstasy, amphetamines, mephedrone, methamphetamine and cocaine are just some that you might know. Stimulants, also called uppers sometimes, are particularly addictive and increase energy and alertness temporarily, but beware because they can cause confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, panic and even psychosis. At first, stimulants appear to heighten your senses together with your awareness, but the danger comes immediately afterwards when you come down and hard; this even puts you into a great risk of falling asleep while driving.
Ecstasy or MDMA can cause euphoria, confusion, and anxiety all of which are not very helpful when you are driving.
Amphetamines are addictive and its users are also prone to use other drugs (e.g. marijuana) to mask the effects of coming down.
You are very likely to be hyped when you’re still high, this means you are more likely to be aggressive on the road that you normally would. Nevertheless, stimulants will take away your concentration making it more difficult for you to drive. It can create hallucinations and disrupt your view and perception of the road.
These are drugs that cause hallucinations of which the most commonly known are LSD, PCP, Peyote, and Psilocybin. Common drugs that can cause hallucinations here in the Philippines are rugby solvent, weed, and ecstasy.
Hallucinogen users feel sensations, hear sounds, and even see images that are entirely nonexistent but seemingly very real and true, as if it really exist. Imagine having these effects on you while driving and you’ll get the idea that it’s really bad for driving.
Conclusion between illegal drugs and driving
There’s a very good reason why these drugs are illegal even with driving excluded in the equation: these drugs can cause irreversible and harmful effects to the body with prolonged use or overdose. It also puts other people at risk when a person uses them because of the effects of drugs on the psyche creates a hazard to other people. This makes driving under the influence of drugs even more dangerous as the person is volatile when on the road, putting other road users at a greater risk.
On the other hand, drivers must be watchful of non-illegal drugs, too, as some prescription and over-the-counter drugs may also cause driving impairment. If you are under a medication, it would be best to talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional first to be sure you’re OK to drive.