Prescription Drug-Impaired Drivers Difficult To Identify, Prosecute



Released on: July 30, 2010, 4:43 am
Author: Mountainside Drug Rehab
Industry: Healthcare

NEW YORK- Lawmakers, prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement officials have all noted that it's becoming increasingly difficult to not only prosecute individuals impaired by prescription drug use, but also difficult to identify such individuals.

Law enforcement officials, in particular, are taxed with the burden of discretion in judgment when approaching an individual who appears to be impaired in some fashion. When police officers suspect that an individual may be under the influence due to erratic behavior, the tough call is, what substance has caused the impairment?'

In the case of alcohol or illegal drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, it's an easy call to make. The difficulty comes when a legally prescribed medication is causing the impairment.

Drunken driving is easy to discern - officials have tests at their disposal which check for not only the use of alcohol but also the degree of alcohol within the bloodstream, begins a spokesperson for Mountainside Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center in Canaan , CT. The problem arises with medications that are prescribed for an individual which cause impairment; such medications include painkillers, muscle relaxers or anti-anxiety medications. Clearly, the proper use of prescribed medications isn't illegal, but their effects can cause mental and cognitive impairments that can become detrimental while driving. The challenge is that there really is no effective way to measure what amounts, specifically, cause impairments, particularly with those who have been on those types of medications for an extended period of time. Individuals who have been on a prescribed medication for a long period of time tend to build up a tolerance, requiring a higher dosage to get the same therapeutic effect as someone who has just begun taking the particular medication.

Since there's no standard of measure and, therefore, no way to determine a legal limit' for prescription medication use, the best way to combat the growing epidemic of drivers impaired by these substances is through education. Everyone is familiar with the credo, Don't Drink and Drive' and it has become the impetus for having designated drivers. We need to adopt a similar message for those who take prescribed medications that could cause impairment: have a designated driver for those times that require the use of such medications.

Regular use of prescription narcotics such as Oxycodone, Vicodin and Oxycontin can not only cause cognitive impairment issues, but can also cause a dependency on the prescribed medication, necessitating drug addiction treatment.

Mountainside's original, unique approach to drug rehab began 12 years ago. Since then, the drug rehab treatment field has recognized the success of these treatment modalities as further increasing the individual's chances for sustained recovery.

The compassionate, caring treatment team at Mountainside Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center is comprised of licensed and certified counselors and social workers as well as an on-staff Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Nurse, both of whom have specializations and extensive experience in drug addiction and alcohol treatment. For clients with psychiatric and/or dual diagnosis issues, Mountainside offers the services of a Psychiatrist who also has specialization in addiction treatment.

The Mountainside program and its addiction treatment team earned national recognition and was invited to Washington by the White House Drug Czar, John P. Waters for an in-depth meeting on what makes their program so successful. This recognition and attention has resulted in professionals in the addiction treatment field recognizing the value and importance of a more holistic approach to drug addiction treatment.

If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or if you have any questions, please contact Mountainside Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center for a confidential inquiry at 800-762-5433.



Back to previous page
Home page
Submit your press release