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Study Shows Significant Motor Vehicle Risk When Opioids Present

Study Shows Significant Motor Vehicle Risk When Opioids Present

Study Shows Significant Motor Vehicle Risk When Opioids Present

The conversations surrounding safety on the road tend to focus on alcohol consumption and texting. Considerable resources have been poured into educational efforts to keep individuals safe, yet risks associated with less popular substances still exist.According to a recent Global News report, low doses of opioids increase the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle accident. These low doses can be found in codeine or morphine – both of which are available in some over-the-counter medications – and when present, the accident tends to be traumatic. Plus, the higher amounts of opioids taken, the higher the risk for all involved.

Used to treat both chronic and acute pain, opioids include such medications as hydromorphone, oxycodone and the fentanyl patch, just to name a few. Once the medications are taken – even according to a doctor’s prescription – they can have a significant effect on the reaction time and alertness of the individual. This is especially true immediately after the medication is taken.

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined the impact this medication can have on adult drivers. The study determined that a daily dose of even 20 milligrams of morphine is a dangerous dose. This, or the equivalent of another opioid derivative, was linked to an increase in the risk of road trauma by as much as 21 percent.

The risk rose to 42 percent when the opioid doses were higher, in the 100 to 199 milligrams range. While the risk is much lower with lower doses of the opioid, this study does suggest that the risk of a traumatic motor vehicle accident is too high to warrant getting behind the wheel if any amount of an opioid drug has been ingested.


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