TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2018, 12 million U.S. residents reported driving under the influence of marijuana in the previous 12 months, according to research published in the Dec. 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Alejandro Azofeifa, D.D.S., a consultant from Washington, D.C., and colleagues provide the most recent national estimates of self-reported driving under the influence of marijuana and illicit drugs other than marijuana for persons aged ≥16 years using 2018 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The researchers found that during 2018, 12 and 2.3 million U.S. residents (4.7 and 0.9 percent) reported driving under the influence of marijuana and under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana, respectively, in the previous 12 months. The prevalence of driving under the influence was increased among men and persons aged 16 to 34 years.

“Impaired driving is a serious public health concern that needs to be addressed to safeguard the health and safety of all who use the road, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists,” the authors write. “Collaboration among public health, transportation safety, law enforcement, and federal and state officials is needed for the development, evaluation, and further implementation of strategies to prevent alcohol-, drug-, and polysubstance-impaired driving.”

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