In August, Consumer Reports published an article entitled, “Too Many Meds? America’s Love Affair With Prescription Medication.” According to Consumer Reports, “The total number of prescriptions filled by all Americans, including adults and children has increased by 85 percent over two decades, while the total U.S. population has increased by only 21 percent.” America’s harmful pill habit comes in the following forms:
- Taking too many prescription drugs.
- Taking drugs that the person doesn’t need.
- Taking drugs before they’re needed (prematurely).
The experts consulted by Consumer Reports said it’s a culture encouraged by the heavy marketing of drug companies and a healthcare system that’s increasingly under more pressure. The result? Writing a prescription becomes the easiest way for healthcare providers to handle patient concerns.
Prescription Drug DWI in Plano & Dallas
Why do we bring up America’s love affair with prescription drugs? Because, we’re seeing the effects firsthand in our number of DWI with drug cases. Under Section 49.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”
Section 49.01(2)(A) of the Texas Penal Code defines intoxicated as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance in the body.” Intoxicated also includes having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), “some medications and driving don’t mix,” and we can’t agree more. “While most medications don’t affect driving ability, some prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause reactions that may make it unsafe to drive,” says the FDA.
Prescriptions that require caution while driving:
- Sleeping pills
- Pain relievers
- Anxiety drugs
- Some antidepressants
- Products with codeine
- Some cold and allergy medications
To learn more about the drugged driving epidemic in the U.S., check out this article published by CNN on April 28, 2017 entitled: ‘Drugged driving’ surpasses drunken driving among drivers killed in crashes, report finds.