Prescription Medications and drug driving in New Zealand

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1 Prescription Medications and drug driving in New Zealand Educating drivers, their trusted influencers and strategic audiences Margaret Stevenson-Wright, Senior Education Advisor, NZTA Anne Dowden, independent evaluation consultant

2

3 Definition: drugs or medications? It depends who you are talking to drugs meds alcohol Addiction sector talks of drug driving Police tend to talk of drug users Most NZ drivers think about taking their medications Medications are a significant source of drugs that impair driving Most NZ drivers also drink alcohol Alcohol is a drug that impairs driving

4 Definition: Substance Impaired Driving (SID) Community Demonstration Project - SID education by trusted influencers SID Substance Impaired Driving Drivers at risk of driving impaired due to the effects of medications (or drugs) used with or without alcohol In New Zealand, its illegal to drive impaired by any substance including prescription medications

5 Barriers to tackling SID perception little action limited monitoring Wide spread perception that SID is not a significant problem Little action by professionals & families/friends, or drivers at risk Strategic audiences SID is not yet fully monitored Barriers to monitoring

6 NZ drivers are at risk We have the data meds drink used meds drug driving drug driving I in 4 NZ prescriptions for people of driving age are for medications that can impair More than 4 in 5 NZ drivers drink alcohol 2 in 3 NZ drivers took meds that may impair last year 1 in 6 NZ drivers report they used meds drugs + - alcohol that may have affected their driving ability last year 1 in 7 NZ drink drivers with BAC mixed impairing meds drugs with alcohol last year

7 In NZ SID knowledge & education is limited NZ Health professionals don t always warn caution NZ Health professionals usually don t -discuss other options -explain signs symptoms 1 in 2 NZ drivers don t recall ever getting a caution NZ drivers don t know signs and symptoms Police detection & enforcement is limited -barriers exist

8 It is complex SID education is avoided because its seen as too complex perceive effects variance Its been seen as too hard to deal with The impairing effects multiply with poly-drug use For most drivers this is meds + alcohol Meds effects vary, they effect different people in different ways at different times -effects differ with fatigue, illness

9 Research about a solution Surveys of drivers and Health Professionals & Police Presentations & discussions with sector (Health Professionals, Police) Presentations & discussions with strategic audiences (Government & sector governance groups)

10 Research about a solution drivers care risks motivate When drivers learn about SID they make responsible, safeto-drive decisions Risks of simple messaging -self medicating -stop driving altogether -stop medications Persuasive data needed to motivate change by sector and strategic audiences -NZ data -International literature

11 Community solution Education with enhanced detection and enforcement driver centred Education of sector to motivate action Educate drivers via trusted influencers pharmacists GPs

12 Community solution Education with enhanced detection and enforcement driver centred Education of sector to motivate action Educate drivers via trusted influencers pharmacists GPs

13 Community solution Education with enhanced detection and enforcement evidence local pilot motivate action tools tailored NZ data and international literature Tested and adapted for good fit Education resources for Health Professional audiences to motivate action Education resources for drivers. Tools for Health Professionals to educate Within trusted relationships education can be tailored to drivers situations Information packs for senior & frontline Police

14 Community solution - emergent actions Education of an ever wider circle of drivers Police education of drivers driver centred Large employers and transport sector Health and Safety Legislation - SID in all workplace settings - other land transport - air, sea transport - heavy machinery

15 Strategic audiences solution Awareness raising and enhancing priority system evidence motivate action tools tailored Systems approach Safer journeys partners working together Varied roles NZ data and international literature Partners share data sets -MoH -Police -NZTA Seminars and information packs Infographics to simplify the complex data Varied content Discussions Summaries to inform networks

16 Strategic audiences solution - actions Shared action SID project data: has informed decisions on SID detection and enforcement SID project: enhances focus on education of professionals

17 Wrap up thoughts Trusted influences have conversations Drivers make responsible decisions Collaborations across the System

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