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HHS HealthBeat (June 17, 2014)

Teens driving under the double influence

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study finds teenagers who drink alcohol and smoke marijuana at the same time have big risks for unsafe driving.

At the University of Michigan, researcher Yvonne Terry-McElrath saw this in national survey data on more than 72,000 high school seniors. She says 38 percent of teenagers who said they had used both drugs simultaneously in the past year reported traffic tickets and warnings, and 30 percent reported a car wreck.

“Implications for teenagers are that they need be aware of the increased risk of unsafe driving based on their own or friend’s simultaneous use.”

The study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 17, 2014