Behaviours – Drugs and Medication

Did You Know?

Statistics show an increase in the number of arrests for driving while impaired by drugs or medication. The most common drugs include cannabis (pot), methamphetamines (speed), GHB and cocaine.

Statistics on drugs and driving

30% of deceased drivers had drugs in their bloodstream

The presence of drugs in the bloodstream was detected in approximately 30% of drivers killed in an accident between 2009 and 2013 (data from the coroner's office). The most common drugs include:

  • cannabis
  • cocaine
  • benzodiazepines
  • amphetamines
  • opioids

100,000 drivers admit to driving after having used drugs

A survey conducted in 2015 revealed that 2% of Québec drivers got behind the wheel after using drugs.


Why are there more arrests for driving while impaired by drugs?

Simply because there are more police officers trained to administer screening tests to drivers suspected of driving while impaired by drugs.

Prescription and over-the-counter medication

Some medications prescribed by health care professionals or sold over the counter can affect your ability to drive because they may cause:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • decreased concentration
  • memory problems
  • etc.

These medications can include tranquilizers, antidepressants, sleeping pills, antihistamines (for allergies), decongestants (for sinus problems or coughing, etc.), muscle relaxants and others, such as painkillers that contain opioids or other substances.

Almost all types of medications can cause side effects that affect your ability to drive, and these side effects may vary from person to person. Medications that cause drowsiness are particularly dangerous when driving.

You take medication and you have to drive?

Consult your physician or pharmacist to know about the effects of your medication on driving.

Carefully read the instructions and pay special attention to any contraindications to driving, regardless of whether the medication is prescribed by a physician or sold over the counter.


Beware of mixing!

Mixing alcohol with drugs or medication accelerates and amplifies impairment. For example, mixing alcohol with cannabis multiplies your risk of having an accident by 15.