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Combined effect of alcohol and cannabis on simulated driving.

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2021 Feb 05;:

Authors: Fares A, Wickens CM, Mann RE, Di Ciano P, Wright M, Matheson J, Hasan OSM, Rehm J, George TP, Samokhvalov AV, Shuper PA, Huestis MA, Stoduto G, Brown T, Stefan C, Rubin-Kahana DS, Le Foll B, Brands B

RATIONALE: With alcohol and cannabis remaining the most commonly detected drugs in seriously and fatally injured drivers, there is a need to understand their combined effects on driving.
OBJECTIVES: The present study examined the effects of combinations of smoked cannabis (12.5% THC) and alcohol (target BrAC 0.08%) on simulated driving performance, subjective drug effects, cardiovascular measures, and self-reported perception of driving ability.
METHODS: In this within-subjects, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, cannabis users (1-7 days/week) aged 19-29 years attended four drug administration sessions in which simulated driving, subjective effects, cardiovascular measures, and whole blood THC and metabolite concentrations were assessed following placebo alcohol and placebo cannabis (<0.1% THC), alcohol and placebo cannabis, placebo alcohol and active cannabis, and alcohol and active cannabis.
RESULTS: Standard deviation of lateral position in the combined condition was significantly different from the placebo condition (p < 0.001). Standard deviation of lateral position was also significantly different from alcohol and cannabis alone conditions in the single task overall drive (p = 0.029 and p = 0.032, respectively), from the alcohol alone condition in the dual task overall drive (p = 0.022) and the cannabis alone condition in the dual task straightaway drive (p = 0.002). Compared to the placebo condition, the combined and alcohol conditions significantly increased reaction time. Subjective effects in the combined condition were significantly greater than with either of the drugs alone at some time points, particularly later in the session. A driving ability questionnaire showed that participants seemed unaware of their level of impairment.
CONCLUSION: Combinations of alcohol and cannabis increased weaving and reaction time, and tended to produce greater subjective effects compared to placebo and the single drug conditions suggesting a potential additive effect. The fact that participants were unaware of this increased effect has important implications for driving safety.

PMID: 33544195 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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Categories: Medical

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