It’s bad enough that teens are smoking marijuana at the highest rate in thirty years, outnumbering even those that smoke cigarettes, but they are often willing to drive after doing so constituting a very dangerous combination.
A new study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) showed that more than a third of teens are confident that smoking weed has no effect on them when they drive. It’s no surprise then that about one in five teens reported that they had driven after smoking marijuana. The same numbers of teens think that alcohol doesn’t have a negative effect on driving.
These figures provide an estimate of how much work still needs to be done to protect our young people. When young people have inaccurate perceptions of the effects of drugs or drinking and driving or other demanding activities, they can easily put themselves and others at risk.
The Actual Effects Of Marijuana On Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) catalogs the effects of using marijuana and how a smoker performs in tasks similar to driving. They state that the performance-related effects of using marijuana or other cannabis products are:
Problems with memory or learning
Distorted perceptions including time and distance
Difficulty solving problems
Loss of coordination
Difficulty sustaining attention
Difficulty shifting attention to track with changes in the environment
Impairment of hand-eye coordination.
These effects have been said to last two to four hours. The NHTSA states that there are still traces of these effects 24 hours later.
The Drug Itself Can Impair Understanding Of The Danger
Since marijuana impairs memory, judgment and perception, a person may be unable to drive safely and not also be able to perceive the problem. In confirmation of this fact, the British Medical Journal stated that the chances that a marijuana smoker will get into an accident are three times that of a sober person, if they drive within three hours of smoking pot. While some other studies disagree with this result, the Washington Post reported that in 2011, the number of fatal car accidents involving teens increased in the first half of that year.
The Drug Narconon Program Offers A Lasting Solution
Many people who are having trouble with drugs or alcohol go to rehabs according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly two million are admitted to rehabs that receive public funding each year. More go to private facilities. The tragedy is that many of these rehabs fail to provide the service that enables people to live drug-free. Some programs are so short that the person does not have the time to rebuild a broken life. Many programs count their successes by the number of people who stay on methadone or buprenorphine for months or more likely years. But these people never have the chance to learn to live drug-free.
The drug Narconon program also offer drug prevention services to schools, clubs, civic groups and corporations around the world, helping to convince students that drug use leads to adverse results.
Through the drug Narconon program, on six continents, people who had lost everything that was valuable as a result of addiction are able to rebuild, recover their self-esteem and integrity, and learn to operate off morals and honesty once again. You may have a Narconon center near you that can help someone you love climb back out of the despair of addiction and into a sober, productive life once again. To find out, call 1-800-775-8750 today.