Fatigue and beyond: patterns of and motivations for illicit drug use among long-haul truck drivers
Davey, Jeremy D., Richards, Naomi L., & Freeman, James E. (2007) Fatigue and beyond: patterns of and motivations for illicit drug use among long-haul truck drivers. Traffic Injury Prevention, 8(3), pp. 253-259.
Objectives. The present study aimed to investigate the illicit drug use patterns of long-distance truck drivers. This population is considered to be a special interest group in terms of drug-driving research and policy due to high rates of use, involvement of drugs in truck accidents, and the link between drug use and work-related fatigue.
Methods. Qualitative interview data were conducted at truck stops and loading facilities in both metropolitan and regional sites throughout Queensland.
Results. High rates of licit and illicit drug use (particularly amphetamines) were reported by the majority of the sample. However, unlike previous studies that focus on fatigue, this research found overlapping and changing motivations for drug use during individual lifetimes. Becker's model of a drug use "career" was utilized to reveal that some drivers begin illicit drug use before they commence truck driving. As well as fatigue, powerful motives such as peer pressure, wanting to fit the trucking "image," socialization, relaxation, and addiction were also reported as contributing factors to self-reported drug driving.
Conclusions. The results indicate that these additional social factors may need to be considered and incorporated with fatigue factors when developing effective drug prevention or cessation policies for truck drivers.
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