While drug addiction, substance abuse, and drug overdoses affect thousands each year, many of those affected are innocent.
First, there is the addict themselves. But, second, there are the people surrounding them – their family, friends, and coworkers. Lastly, there are the strangers that pass them by each day just in everyday life. The addict mentality is usually one of “I am only hurting myself,” while we know this is not true because they also hurt their family and friends, the pain doesn’t stop there…
Sometimes, addicts even hurt strangers and most commonly in the event of a car accident.
One tell-tale sign that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol is that you become comfortable driving under the influence. You have developed the mentality that you are still a good driver and that the drugs or alcohol are not impairing you severely enough that you cannot operate a vehicle.
However, many people each year are killed by this mentality.
In a 2014 survey done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 10 million people – aged 12 or older – reported driving while under the influence of illicit drugs during the previous year (the year before the survey was completed).
NSDUH also reported that men are more likely than women to drive while under the influence. In addition, those aged between 18 and 25 drive under the influence more often than those aged 26 and above do.
Even though it is never okay to drive under the influence, many people still do – ultimately, costing many people their lives.
In 2015, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 10,265 died in an alcohol-impaired crash. This number accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
For those suffering from addiction, these are the kind of consequences that could last a lifetime. Driving under the influence, and furthermore causing a fatal accident, could put you in jail for many years.
If you or someone you know participate in impaired driving – whether it be drinking or doing drugs – find ways to change the situation:
- Offer to be the designated driver, or if you are impaired plan ahead to have a designated driver.
- Discuss the risks of driving in advance with your friends to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Keep the car keys out of sight so no one is tempted to drive after drinking or doing drugs.
- Always know your limit. Be prepared to stop before you have had too much and are over the legal limit.