Online Program

Drugs, Alcohol, and Transportation: A Risky Combination for Public Health

Monday, November 2, 2015: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Substance impairment in all modes of transportation is an increasing, but often overlooked, concern for public health. In the U.S., more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes and 9.9 million reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs (NHTSA 2014, SAMHSA 2013). The NTSB recently studied trends in toxicology findings from fatally injured airplane pilots and found their use of potentially impairing substances, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, has been increasing. In fact, the most common drug identified in these pilots was diphenhydramine, a sedating antihistamine available in a variety of allergy, cold, and sleep medications. With alcohol continuing to be a factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities and with prescription and over-the-counter drug sales increasing over the past decade, including controlled substances and other sedating medications, transportation operators have access to many substances that may impair their ability to drive, fly, or sail safely. Transportation operators and policy makers need accurate and accessible information to make evidence-based decisions to prevent substance-impairment from resulting in deaths and injuries. Panelists from the NTSB, National Safety Council, and CDC will discuss impairment by alcohol and drugs (legal and illicit), trends in substance use, and steps to reduce the risk of operators of transportation vehicles in all modes.
Session Objectives: Describe the problem of impairing and potentially impairing substance use among transportation modes. Identify ways to reduce the risk associated with substance use by operators across the transportation modes.
Mary Pat McKay, MD, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA
Endorsed by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services

See more of: APHA