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Title: Public perceptions on drugs and driving
Authors: Calleja, Abigail
Keywords: Drugged driving -- Malta
Drugged driving -- Malta -- Public opinion
Antidepressants -- Malta
Antihistamines -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Calleja, A. (2019). Public perceptions on drugs and driving (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Drug driving is one of the ‘three killers’ in terms of road fatalities. The lack of awareness among the public about the dangers of driving under the influence of legal drugs is of great concern. The aims and objectives are to increase awareness among the public about the impairing effects on driving caused by certain legal drugs and to obtain a better understanding of the existing legal approaches and drug driving policies with reference to other EU member states. A self-administered questionnaire was developed in paper format and electronically in Maltese and English and aimed at individuals ≥18 years. Validation was carried out through discussion with a panel of five experts. Ethical approval was granted from the University Research Ethics Committee in June 2017. The questionnaire was distributed to the public through convenience sampling and social media. Maltese and other European drug driving policies and legal approaches on driving under the influence of prescribed drugs were reviewed online. Data analysis of results collected from questionnaire was carried out using IBM SPSS software version 24. Two hundred and fifty-five individuals (64% female, 62% aged 18-29 years, 44% have a tertiary level of education, 43% reside in the Northern Harbour District, 93% Maltese and 89% are driving license holders) answered the questionnaire. The salient results are that 90% (n=230) of the participants either strongly agree or agree that they would want to know whether a medicine will affect their driving ability, 82% (n=208) are aware that certain medications may cause dizziness, drowsiness and sedation and 59% (n=151) of the participants would temporarily stop driving and take their medicine. In Malta, drivers will be punished only if their driving ability is visibly impaired but in Spain and Belgium a ‘zero tolerance’ policy is enforced in which detected driving under the influence of drugs is always penalised. Norway was the first country to introduce blood drug limits (micromoles) for illegal and prescribed drugs, yet no blood drug limits have been specified in Malta. Participants were aware that certain medicines may have impairing effects on their driving ability. Pharmacists are in an ideal position to advice patients about specific medicines side effects e.g. drowsiness, dizziness and sedation. There is need for data at a national level to be gathered and disseminated.
Description: M.PHARM.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacM&S - 2019
Dissertations - FacM&SPha - 2019

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