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Toking and driving: Characteristics of Canadian university students who drive after cannabis use---an exploratory pilot study


Fischer, B; Rodopulos, J; Rehm, Jürgen; Ivsins, A; Rodopoulos, J (2006). Toking and driving: Characteristics of Canadian university students who drive after cannabis use---an exploratory pilot study. Drugs, 13(02):179-187.

Abstract

Cannabis use is increasingly prevalent among young adults in Canada. Due to cannabis’ impairment effects, driving under the influence of cannabis has recently developed into a traffic-safety concern, yet little is known about the specific circumstances and factors characterizing this behavior among young people. In this study, we interviewed a sample of university students (n = 45; age 18–28 years) in Toronto who had driven a car after cannabis use in the past year. The study collected information on respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics, cannabis and other drug use, cannabis use and driving (CUD) experiences, law enforcement and accident exposure, perceptions of cannabis and alcohol impairment effects as well as future anticipated substance use and driving behaviors. Results indicated that: CUD originated primarily from social settings; that impairment risks from cannabis were perceived to be low; and that the level of anticipated future CUD was high. Furthermore, high frequency of CUD in the past year was associated with high frequency of cannabis use. Interventions aiming at CUD among young people need to be anchored in the specific sociocultural settings of this behavior; targeted information needs to address cannabis’ impairment potential for driving; possibilities for harm-reduction measures for CUD need to be considered.

Cannabis use is increasingly prevalent among young adults in Canada. Due to cannabis’ impairment effects, driving under the influence of cannabis has recently developed into a traffic-safety concern, yet little is known about the specific circumstances and factors characterizing this behavior among young people. In this study, we interviewed a sample of university students (n = 45; age 18–28 years) in Toronto who had driven a car after cannabis use in the past year. The study collected information on respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics, cannabis and other drug use, cannabis use and driving (CUD) experiences, law enforcement and accident exposure, perceptions of cannabis and alcohol impairment effects as well as future anticipated substance use and driving behaviors. Results indicated that: CUD originated primarily from social settings; that impairment risks from cannabis were perceived to be low; and that the level of anticipated future CUD was high. Furthermore, high frequency of CUD in the past year was associated with high frequency of cannabis use. Interventions aiming at CUD among young people need to be anchored in the specific sociocultural settings of this behavior; targeted information needs to address cannabis’ impairment potential for driving; possibilities for harm-reduction measures for CUD need to be considered.

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16 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cannabis;Drive;Students;use
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:20 May 2014 11:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:51
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:0968-7637
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09687630500512335
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-95482

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