Road Traffic Injuries and the Opioid Crisis

At any given time, about 20 percent of drivers have a potentially impairing drug in their system. Road traffic injuries and drug overdoses are the two leading causes of injury death in the United States (US), with about 2 million people injured in the US each year.

Opioids and other drugs affect driving abilities, and crash-related injuries often result in opioid prescribing, creating a potential feedback loop from crash to injury and pain to opioid use and back to crash. However, very little is actually known about the interactions between transportation and opioid use, which is one reason Professor Chris Cherry and a collaborative research team was interested in learning more about the connection between prescription monitoring and crash databases.

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