The recent death of Heath Ledger has brought some attention to the dangers of mixing over-the-counter drugs with various prescription drugs. Moreover, many teens and adults are taking these substances and driving without any concern that it will impact their ability to function behind the wheel of a car and cause personal injury to someone. In recent studies, there seems to be little difference if you use your cell phone, drink alcohol or take drugs when you’re behind the wheel of your vehicle.
Accidental deaths in the United States have increased over 20% in the last 10 years. In fact for people ages 1 through 41, accidents are the leading cause of death. Every five minutes a person dies from an unintentional accidental injury. And although the number one cause across the US is motor vehicle accidents, the second leading cause is poisonings. Specifically, poisonings from overdoses of over-the-counter drugs is the fastest rising cause of accidental death. There is a 5% increase of deaths up from last year alone.
Adults are doing a fairly good job keeping these drugs away from children, but it is the adults themselves that are poisoning themselves. In fact, white women have had a 300% increase in accidental deaths during the last 10 years. White males have also had a substantial increase in deaths but it does cross all demographic backgrounds.
In California, poisonings are the second largest contributor to accidental deaths next to automobile accidents. Death from falls ranked third, fourth was drowning and fires, flames and smoke rounded off the top five.
Some over the counter drugs have the same physical effects as alcohol, and because of that, have the same dangers as driving under the influence. For example, typical cold remedies, cough syrups and muscle relaxers all have a sedative quality, which generally means it will make some people drowsy.
To check on drug interactions and side effects, visit www.rxlist.com. This site will give you a thorough background of any drug you might be taking. Also, always read the labels to be assured that you understand all of the potential side effects. Over –the-counter medicines are generally, but then mixed with prescription drug, could cause serious consequences.
According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 9.5 million people reported driving under the influence of drugs. Although many of these people are drinking alcohol (which is also a drug), about 25% of these people are taking over-the counter, prescription or illegal drugs. Some people may think they’re being safe, but in some cases, it’s just like driving under the influence of alcohol.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or drugged driving impairs one’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment. This behavior not only puts your passengers at risk abut other drivers you could potentially cause serious personal injury to. If you have been involved in this type or any other type of injury accident, don’t hesitate to call on a professional personal injury attorney.