Most Common Drugs Used By Truck Drivers

Truck driving is tough work. Drivers spend a lot of time on the road, making them tired and sleepy. Besides drinking coffee for a boost, some truckers use drugs to stay awake during long trips. Some of these drugs are okay to use, like ones you can easily get, but others are illegal and risky. Truckers often use a few drugs to stay alert and fight off tiredness. The most commonly used drug is amphetamine. 21% of the truckers are found using amphetamine.

The common drugs used by truck drivers can be categorized into three types. Those are:

  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Prescribed Drugs
  • Illicit Drugs

Over-the-counter drugs

Over-the-counter drugs are commonly known as OTC or nonprescription drugs. It refers to the drugs that one can buy without a prescription. Over-the-counter options might help with focus without causing drowsiness. Caffeine pills or drinks can provide a short-term boost, but they might not be the best for long-lasting concentration. 

Some of the popular over-the-counter drugs are Tylenol, ibuprofen, cough suppressant, alcohol, energy drinks, caffeine, cigarettes and many others. These drugs are easily available in pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations and even online. Consider other alternatives, like taking breaks regularly to rest and recharge, staying hydrated, and having healthy snacks to maintain energy levels.

Prescribed drugs

Prescription drugs can only be dispensed to those with a medical prescription. Overdose of prescription drugs has been an increasing problem. They use these drugs to work for more hours continuously. Some prescribed drugs might have side effects like drowsiness or dizziness, which could lead to an accident. Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs are:

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that impacts the nervous system. It is also commonly known as crystal meth or ice. The truckers use methamphetamine to increase alertness and productivity.

Amphetamine

Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that help truckers keep themselves awake. Trucker have to drive for a long time. Especially at night, the trucker could sleep while driving; to prevent this, they rely on amphetamines.

Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone, a strong prescription pain medication, might be used by some truckers if they have severe pain that affects their ability to work or drive. However, using Oxymorphone or any strong pain medication while driving is risky because it can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impair reaction times.

Illicit drugs

Common drugs used by truck drivers

Some truck drivers might turn to illicit drugs for various reasons. These job demands, long hours, tight schedules, and isolation on the road can lead to stress, fatigue, and a desire to stay awake and alert. 

Additionally, some individuals might use drugs as a way to cope with the pressures of the job or personal issues. However, it’s crucial to highlight that using illicit drugs is illegal and extremely dangerous, especially when operating a vehicle. Drugs can impair judgment, reaction times, and overall driving ability, putting the driver and others on the road at serious risk of accidents or harm.

Heroin

The use of heroin, especially for a truck driver, is incredibly risky and dangerous. Heroin is a highly addictive and illicit opioid that can cause severe impairment in judgment, coordination, and reaction times. Using heroin or any illicit drug while operating a truck is not only illegal but also poses an extreme danger to the driver and others on the road. If a truck driver is using heroin, it’s critical for their safety and the safety of others that they seek immediate help and support to overcome their addiction.

Cocaine

Using cocaine, especially while operating a truck or any vehicle, is extremely risky. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can lead to increased alertness and a false sense of confidence. 

However, it also impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times. This significantly raises the risk of accidents and endangers the safety of the driver and others on the road. If a truck driver is using cocaine, it’s crucial for their well-being and the safety of everyone else on the road that they seek immediate help and support to overcome their drug use.

Cannabis

Using cannabis, even though it’s becoming legal in more places, can still be risky for truck drivers. Cannabis can affect coordination, reaction time, and judgment, which are crucial for safe driving. Even if someone uses cannabis legally, it’s important to consider how it might impact their ability to drive safely. 

For truck drivers, using cannabis before or during driving can impair their ability to operate a vehicle safely. It could result in accidents or legal issues, as regulations around driving under the influence vary by location. It’s best to avoid cannabis when planning to drive, especially when operating large vehicles like trucks.

Why do Truck Drivers use drugs?

Truck drivers might use drugs for various reasons, but some common factors include:

  • Long hours and fatigue: Trucking often involves long hours on the road, leading to fatigue and sleep issues. Some drivers might use stimulants to stay awake and focused, while others might use substances to relax or cope with the stress and pressure of the job.

  • Meeting demands: Meeting tight schedules and deadlines can be challenging. Some drivers might turn to drugs to keep up with demanding workloads or to stay alert during overnight shifts.

  • Coping mechanism: The trucking lifestyle can be isolating and lonely, leading some individuals to use drugs as a way to cope with feelings of loneliness or depression.

  • Peer influences: Being part of a community where drug use is normalized or encouraged can influence individuals to use substances, thinking it might help them perform better or cope with the demands of the job.

How do I know If the driver who hit me was on drugs?

Spotting if a driver was on drugs at the time of an accident can be challenging without proper testing. However, there might be some signs or behaviours that could indicate drug use:

  • Erratic behaviour: The driver might display unusual or irresponsible behaviour, such as confusion, aggressiveness, and extreme mood swings.

  • Physical symptoms: Dilated or constricted pupils, slurred speech, or unsteady movements could indicate possible drug use.

  • Strange odors: The vehicles might have unusual odours, such as the smell of marijuana or chemicals.

  • Unusual driving behavior: Reckless driving, excessive speeding, drifting between lanes, or ignoring traffic signals could indicate impairment.

If you suspect that the other driver was under the influence, you could tell the authorities to take a drug test immediately.

What to do after a truck accident?

If you’re involved in an accident with a truck driver, here are steps to take:

  • Ensure safety: Check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call emergency services immediately.

  • Contact authorities: Report the accident to the police. They will create an official report, which can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

  • Exchange information: Get the truck driver’s information, including their name, contact details, insurance information, and the truck’s license plate number. Provide your information as well.

  • Document the scene: Take photos of the accident, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and relevant landmarks. Also, gather witness information if possible.

  • Notify your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Provide them with accurate information about the incident.

  • Consult legal advice: If you suffer damages or injuries or are unsure about your rights, seeking legal advice from an experienced truck accident lawyer will be very helpful.

Contact truck accident lawyer at Nordean law if you have been hurt in trucking accident

Contact Sam Nordean Of Nordean Law

Truck accidents can lead to severe injuries that can change lives. Commercial trucks’ huge size and weight compared to regular vehicles often cause life-changing harm to those involved.

At Nordean Law, our skilled team of truck accident lawyers is fully equipped to guide you through the legal journey and safeguard your rights. Reach out to us online for a FREE consultation, or give us a call at 888-527-1267.

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Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

Picture of Author Bio
Author Bio

Samuel ‘Sam’ Nordean is a founding partner of Nordean Law, APC. He is passionate about standing up for people who struggle with accidental injuries and mistreatment from insurance companies. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Biochemistry from Portland State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law. Sam started Nordean Law to commit to helping people who cannot fight for themselves. His strengths are in representing victims in car accidents, fatal accidents, negligence cases and liability accidents.

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