The use of psychoactive substances in European traffic: results from the European DRUID-project

Between 2006 and 2011 a large scale research project named DRUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines) was conducted to provide scientific knowledge for combating driving under the influence of psychoactive substances in the European Member States. As part of this DRUID-project roadside surveys have been conducted in thirteen European countries to get more insight in the use of psychoactive substances among drivers in traffic. Information on recent substance use was obtained by collecting blood and oral fluid samples from almost 50.000 randomly selected car drivers. The results show that alcohol is the number one psychoactive substance on European roads, followed by illicit drugs and medicinal drugs. Illicit drugs were mainly detected among young male drivers, during all times of the day, but mainly in the weekend. Medicinal drugs such as benzodiazepines and Z-drugs were mainly detected among older female drivers during daytime hours. The use of substances among drivers in the general driving population in Europe varies largely per country, but general patterns can be distinguished on the level of European regions: 1. Z-drugs and medicinal opiates and opioids were in general relatively frequently detected in Northern European countries; 2. Illicit drugs, alcohol and benzodiazepines were relatively frequently detected in Southern European countries; 3. In Eastern Europe the prevalence of alcohol and illicit drugs was relatively low compared to the other European regions; 4. In Western Europe, substance use was more or less on the European average. The results show that drug use in traffic varies per country. Therefore, a European set of countermeasures might not be as effective as national countermeasures, which are in general more designed to the country specific issues on driving under the influence.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 345-50
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495683
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:12AM