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
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
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.
Abuse; Amphetamine; Driving; Impairment; Recidivism; Traffic fatalities
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120732DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.04.011ISI: 000358389200012PubMedID: 26003926OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120732DiVA: diva2:848243