Narcotics and Driving

Here is the latest headline, which should scare you:

‘Drug driving’ leads to more fatal crashes than drunk driving

Why should that scare you?  Because if you don’t document that you had told your patient NOT to drive while on pain medication then you could be sued as well.  How do I know this?  Because I write about this crap every day for 16 years.  Doing this Authentic Medicine blog so long allows me to rememberer these kinds of things happening before.  And here it is:

Doctors Sued for Prescribing Painkillers to Woman Who Crashed Her Car

You need a WSJ to read the whole thing.  It’s an old article (2008) but here are the highlights:

A woman wrecked her car, killing an innocent bystander. Now the bystander’s widow is suing the woman’s doctors, arguing that they should have warned her not to drive while taking the pain medicines they prescribed.

I cant find the final outcome of this case but the last article I could find showed that it was going through a malpractice review with the state medical society seemed to think was a win.  Does it really matter, though?  With the opioid craziness going on there has got to be lawyers and others wanting to capitalize on it.  In fact, this is from the first article above:

An increasing number of drivers involved in fatal crashes are testing positive for drugs, especially opioids and marijuana, according to a new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association — though it is unclear whether drug use is actually the culprit in those crashes.

The report raises serious concerns at a time when the U.S. is facing an epidemic of opioid usage and as more and more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational usage. But the GHSA also cautions that it is difficult to fully understand the extent to which “drugged driving” is becoming a problem.

All I can do is repeat what Corporal Hicks said in Aliens, “Hey! I know we’re all in strung out shape but stay frosty and alert. We can’t afford to let one of those bastards in here.”


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