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Epidemiological roadside survey on psychoactive substances and driving in the Veneto region (north-east Italy) Giorgetti, R et al

By: Giorgetti, RPublication details: Alcohol, drugs and traffic safety, 2000; T2000, Stockholm, May 22-26, 2000. Paper, Description: 6 sSubject(s): Sweden | Conference | Drugs | Italy | Driver | Drunkenness | Weekend | Night | Statistics | 842Bibl.nr: VTI P4030:15Location: Abstract: The objective of this study was investigate the role of psychotropic substances (alcohol, drugs of abuse) in causing road accidents. A survey based on clinical and chemico-toxicological analyses was carried out on car drivers in the Veneto region during night weekends since 1994. Rapid clinical screening was carried out on 7957 drivers. 1399 of these, suspected to be under the influence of psychotropic substances, were subjected to complete clinical and toxicological ascertainment involving the following procedures: 1) anamnesis, aiming at evidence of possible current or past use of psychotropic substances; 2) objective clinical examination, aiming at finding evidence of recent (signs of acute or chronic intoxication) or past use (signs of withdrawal or associated organic pathologies) of psychotropic substances; and 3) double sampling of blood and urine and chemico-toxicological analysis using immunochemical, GC-HS and GC/MS-SIM techniques. As well as many data of social and behavioural interest, processing of results demonstrated that: 1) 56.25 per cent of drivers examined had consumed alcoholic beverages; 2) 30.16 per cent had BACs higher than the threshold permitted in Italy (80 mg per cent mL); 3) 15.65 per cent of drivers were found to be under the influence of drugs of abuse or psychoactive drugs; and 4) the most frequently found substances were (in order): cannabinoids, stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines), opiates. The prevalence of drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol is very high in Italy. The lack of proper prevention/education programs and of any deterrent effect, due to the non-application of laws in force, means that at-risk behaviour remains at high levels. Italy needs to extend the isolated prevention programs undertaken so far and to set up a permanent service of clinical and toxicological checks to be applied throughout the country.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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The objective of this study was investigate the role of psychotropic substances (alcohol, drugs of abuse) in causing road accidents. A survey based on clinical and chemico-toxicological analyses was carried out on car drivers in the Veneto region during night weekends since 1994. Rapid clinical screening was carried out on 7957 drivers. 1399 of these, suspected to be under the influence of psychotropic substances, were subjected to complete clinical and toxicological ascertainment involving the following procedures: 1) anamnesis, aiming at evidence of possible current or past use of psychotropic substances; 2) objective clinical examination, aiming at finding evidence of recent (signs of acute or chronic intoxication) or past use (signs of withdrawal or associated organic pathologies) of psychotropic substances; and 3) double sampling of blood and urine and chemico-toxicological analysis using immunochemical, GC-HS and GC/MS-SIM techniques. As well as many data of social and behavioural interest, processing of results demonstrated that: 1) 56.25 per cent of drivers examined had consumed alcoholic beverages; 2) 30.16 per cent had BACs higher than the threshold permitted in Italy (80 mg per cent mL); 3) 15.65 per cent of drivers were found to be under the influence of drugs of abuse or psychoactive drugs; and 4) the most frequently found substances were (in order): cannabinoids, stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines), opiates. The prevalence of drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol is very high in Italy. The lack of proper prevention/education programs and of any deterrent effect, due to the non-application of laws in force, means that at-risk behaviour remains at high levels. Italy needs to extend the isolated prevention programs undertaken so far and to set up a permanent service of clinical and toxicological checks to be applied throughout the country.

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