The psychomotor effects of seven commonly used drugs, both licit and illicit, have been examined in human volunteers when given alone and in combination with alcohol. The drugs include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (the main psychoactive principle of marihuana), two minor analgesics (aspirin and paracetamol), a preparation for the treatment of the common cold (contac 500), a drug (allopurinol) taken for the treatment of gout, and disodium cromoglycate which is used to relieve the symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinitis. A total of 139 subjects participated in these trials, many attending the laboratory on four occasions, and fourteen perceptual, cognitive and motor function tests, designed to correlate with driving skills, were carried out both before and after the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol. Briefly, the results showed that: 1) tetrahydrocannabinol reduced performance across the test battery and, even at a subthreshold dose, increased alcohol - induced impairment. 2) aspirin and paracetamol had no adverse influence on performance when given alone and did not modify the effects of alcohol. 3) contac 500 was also without effect on performance in the tests and did not enhance alcohol - induced impairment. 4) a tentative conclusion was reached that allopurinol may reduce the body's ability to metabolise alcohol. 5) disodium cromoglycate did not enhance impairment due to alcohol and had no effects on performance when given alone. Note: 2) and 3) indicate that drivers may treat their symptoms without any obvious risk of affecting their ability to handle a motor vehicle. (Author/TRRL)

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  • Corporate Authors:

    New South Wales Dept of Motor Transport, Australia

    56 Rothschild Avenue
    Rosebery, New South Wales 2018,   Australia 
  • Authors:
    • Teo, RKC
  • Publication Date: 1980-1

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00329583
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 7240 4040 4
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Res Rpt No. 1/80 Monograph
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 21 1981 12:00AM