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High prevalence of previous arrests for illicit drug use and/or impaired driving among drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in Sweden with amphetamine in blood at autopsy
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. National Board Forens Med, Department Forens Genet and Forens Toxicol, Linkoping, Sweden.
National Board Forens Med, Department Forens Genet and Forens Toxicol, Linkoping, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. National Board Forens Med, Department Forens Genet and Forens Toxicol, Linkoping, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: International journal on drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 26, no 8, 790-793 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Amphetamine, and to a lesser extent the secondary amine methamphetamine, are major recreational drugs of abuse in Sweden. These central stimulant amines are identified in blood from roughly 50% of people arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). However, much less information is available about the presence of amphetamine in blood of drivers killed in road-traffic crashes.

Methods: This retrospective 10-year study (2001-2010) used a forensic toxicology database (TOXBASE) to retrieve information about road-traffic crashes when the driver had amphetamine and/or methamphetamine in autopsy blood. Forensic toxicology results were available from over 95% of all drivers killed on Swedish roads during this 10-year period.

Results: Amphetamine was present in the blood of 106 drivers (3.9%) either alone or together with other psychoactive substances (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, diazepam, alprazolam, etc.). The vast majority of fatalities were male (95%) with a mean age (+/- standard deviation) of 37 +/- 11.4 years (range 16-67 years). The mean (median) and highest concentrations of amphetamine in femoral blood were 1.36 mg/L (1.0 mg/L) and 6.74 mg/L, respectively. Many of the victims (75%) had been arrested previously for use of illicit drugs or DUID. The median number of previous arrests was 4 (range 0-83) and amphetamine or methamphetamine were among the drugs identified in blood samples from 89% of cases (0-100%).

Conclusion: The high prevalence of repeat DUID offending and/or use of illicit drugs among the drivers killed in road-traffic crashes suggests that an early intervention and treatment for stimulant abuse might have been more beneficial than conventional punishments for such drug-related crimes. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2015. Vol. 26, no 8, 790-793 p.
Keyword [en]
Abuse; Amphetamine; Driving; Impairment; Recidivism; Traffic fatalities
National Category
Forensic Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120732DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.04.011ISI: 000358389200012PubMedID: 26003926OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120732DiVA: diva2:848243
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2015-09-15

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Jones, Alan WayneAhlner, Johan
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