Pot and Booze Combo More Dangerous for Teen Drivers Than Alcohol Alone

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, April 28, 2014

Pot and Booze Combo More Dangerous for Teen Drivers Than Alcohol Alone

Teenagers who mix alcohol and marijuana are more likely to be dangerous on the road than teens who use one or the other drug, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that combined use of alcohol and marijuana further increased a teen's risk of getting a traffic ticket or being in a wreck, as reported in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

"Simultaneous use makes a big difference in your risk for unsafe driving," said lead researcher Yvonne Terry-McElrath, of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor. "There's a very clear increase in risk for this group of kids, and for the rest of us on the roads."

Teens who used alcohol and marijuana at the same time were about 50 percent to 90 percent more likely to engage in unsafe driving than their peers who didn't drink or smoke pot, the researchers reported. They also had a higher risk for tickets or wrecks compared with kids who only drank.

The findings come from surveys of more than 72,000 U.S. high school seniors, conducted annually from 1976 to 2011 through the Monitoring the Future study funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Source: HealthDay