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Drugnet Europe News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction — January–March 2007

Common standards for research on drugs and driving

The use of drugs and psychotropic medicines is increasingly recorded in road traffic accidents, with combined alcohol use often exacerbating the dangers. Although various national studies have been launched to gauge the extent of the problem and possible solutions, a lack of standardisation in research methods makes cross-national comparison difficult.

The use of drugs and psychotropic medicines is increasingly recorded in road traffic accidents

At the initiative of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), experts from Australia, Europe and the United States met in France in 2006 for a seminar dedicated to research on drugs and driving. The aim of the meeting was to develop a set of standards designed to improve cross-national data comparability in this area. Epidemiology, toxicology and performance/behaviour were discussed for each study type (i.e. roadside, hospitals, fatal accidents).

Representatives of the EMCDDA and a major European Commission project 'Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol and medicine (DRUID) (1) participated in the meeting and are now contributing to the final version of a document on international standards. Following a peer review process, this document is expected to be presented in August 2007 at the 18th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS) to take place in Seattle.

(1) The four-year, € 24m DRUID project was launched in October 2006 and involves 21 European countries and 37 partners. It aims to provide scientific support to the EU transport policy target of reducing the number of road fatalities by 50% before 2010, by establishing guidelines and measures to combat impaired driving. 

Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

Page last updated: Monday, 16 April 2007