Screening for drugs in oral fluid: Illicit drug use and drug driving in a sample of Queensland motorists

Davey, Jeremy D., Leal, Nerida, & Freeman, James E. (2007) Screening for drugs in oral fluid: Illicit drug use and drug driving in a sample of Queensland motorists. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26(3), pp. 301-307.

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Introduction and Aims: Police Services in a number of Australian states have indicated random roadside drug testing will be implemented to target drug driving. This paper outlines research conducted to provide an estimate of the prevalence of drug driving in a sample of Queensland drivers. Design and Methods: Oral fluid samples were collected from 781 drivers who volunteered to participate at Random Breath Testing (RBT) sites in a large Queensland regional area. Illicit substances tested for included cannabis (delta 9 tetrahydrocannibinol [THC]), amphetamine type substances, heroin and cocaine. Drivers also completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their drug-related driving behaviour. Samples that were drug-positive at initial screening were sent to a government laboratory for confirmation. Results: Oral fluid samples from 27 participants (3.5%) were confirmed positive for at least one illicit substance. The most common drugs detected in oral fluid were cannabis (delta 9 THC) (n = 13) followed by amphetamine type substances (n = 11). A key finding was that cannabis was also confirmed as the most common self-reported drug combined with driving and that individuals who tested positive to any drug through oral fluid analysis were also more likely to report the highest frequency of drug driving. Furthermore, a comparison between drug vs drink driving detection rates for the study period revealed a higher detection rate for drug driving (3.5%) vs drink driving (0.8%).
Discussion and Conclusion: This research provides evidence that drug driving is relatively prevalent on Queensland Roads. The paper will further outline the study findings and present possible directions for future drug driving research.

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20 citations in Scopus
18 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 8332
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Author contact details:
Keywords: Drug driving, oral fluid, roadside drug screening
DOI: 10.1080/09595230701247764
ISSN: 0959-5236
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Drug and Alcohol Review 26(3):pp. 301-307.
Deposited On: 29 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:36

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