Drugged Driving Becoming More Prevalent Than Drunk Driving: National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to Focus on Growing Epidemic

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During National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, this December, Gateway aims to continue to highlight drunk driving issues, while also exercising the same vigilance towards the issue of drugged driving.

drunk driving, driving under the influence, dui
“One of the first steps to overcoming this drugged driving epidemic is to educate the public about substance abuse and treatment options." - Dr. Thomas P. Britton, President & CEO, Gateway Foundation

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and also the time of year for holiday parties, family gatherings and travel. During this time, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers wants to provide a reminder of the risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol as well as drugs – not just illicit drugs, but prescription and over the counter medications too.

Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that driving under the influence of alcohol is worse than driving while impaired by substances such as marijuana or prescription medication.

“There has been a reduction in drinking and driving due to decades of concerted efforts between local, state and federal governments, safety advocates and law enforcement,” said Gateway President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Britton. “During National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, Gateway wants to continue to highlight drunk driving issues, while also exercising the same vigilance towards the issue of drugged driving.”

As the overall number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States declines, the percentage of drugged drivers involved in these accidents increases. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA's) 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey, more than 22 percent of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The spike in the percentage of drugged drivers is concerning, and in recent years, safety advocates and political figures, including the President of the United States, have done their part to emphasize this topic.

In his 2014 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month Presidential Proclamation, President Barack Obama stated that his administration is working to keep drugged drivers off the road and help bolster law enforcement officials' ability to identify drug-impaired drivers.

“One of the first steps to overcoming this drugged driving epidemic is to educate the public about substance abuse and treatment options,” said Britton. “Efforts like National Impaired Driving Prevention Month help bring these issues to the forefront and provide Gateway with an opportunity to educate.”

About Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment
Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers provide substance abuse treatment services for teens and adults at drug treatment centers throughout Illinois including Carbondale, Chicago, Lake County, Fox Valley, Springfield, and the St. Louis Metro East area. Gateway's outpatient and residential treatment centers are licensed by the state of Illinois and accredited by The Joint Commission. Each year, Gateway's professional clinicians help thousands of individual's successfully complete treatment. Learn more about Gateway's free, confidential consultation, or call (877) 505-4673.

Reporters and Editors, for more information about Gateway Alcohol and Drug Treatment, visit RecoverGateway.org or call Kymberly Vasey, Director of Marketing, at (630) 776-5725

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Kymberly Vasey