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article imageDrink driving rates for young people in U.S. 'are better'

By Tim Sandle     Dec 17, 2015 in Health
Washington - Driving under the influence of alcohol and alcohol and marijuana for young adults (aged 16−25) has declined in the U.S., according to a new report.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drawing on data collated between 2002–2014, fewer numbers of young people aged 16 to 25 years drove vehicles while under the influence of either alcohol alone and alcohol and marijuana combined.
With alcohol, rates fell by declined by 59 percent for those aged 16–20 years (from 16.2 percent in 2002 to 6.6 percent in 2014) and by 38 percent among persons aged 21–25 years. With alcohol and marijuana combined, the rate declined by 39 percent for those aged 16–20 years; and by 60 percent among people aged 21–25 years.
Despite the good news, the report contains some interesting findings. First, the chance of someone driving under the influence of alcohol rises with age, in relation to the ‘young person’ demographic. Here the rate changes from 1.5 percent for people aged 16 years to 18 percent for those aged 21 years. Secondly, it is more likely that a young person will drive under the influence of alcohol alone compared with either marijuana alone or alcohol and marijuana combined.
It is difficult to ascertain which is the most dangerous, however, alcohol and marijuana combined produce significant cognitive and psychomotor effects (the relationship between brain functions and physical movement.)
Although the levels have fallen, the harm of driving under the influence of different psychoactive substances remains. Motor vehicle accidents remain the primary cause of death among young adults aged 16−25 years in the U.S. Ensuring that everyone is aware of the dangers remains a key public health promotion message.
The report was put together by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is titled “Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Marijuana, and Alcohol and Marijuana Combined Among Persons Aged 16–25 Years — United States, 2002–2014.”
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