A recent study by the Florida-based DrugTreatment.com found that California does not have the highest traffic fatalities due to drug and alcohol use in the country. However, the state did have an unusually high number of fatalities related to certain types of drugs, which may pose a significant concern for state officials. By understanding which substances are the most problematic in California, officials and others involved with substance abuse issues can focus their prevention efforts on the substances leading to the most deaths.
Where the Numbers were Low
The new study discovered that compared to other states in the nation, California had a relatively low number of substance-related traffic fatalities. The large state, often dubbed a “party” state by the rest of the country, only saw 1.71 fatalities for every 100,000 residents. Compare this number to a state like North Dakota, where the number went up to 8.03 fatalities, and it looks like California drivers may be playing it safer than other areas.
The Stimulant Problem
However, a closer look at the data revealed that while California appeared to be a safer state for accidents related to alcohol or marijuana use, stimulant use seemed to be much higher here than in other states. In fact, four out of the five counties where stimulant-related fatalities were highest were in California; Tulare County, Madera County, Imperial County and Merced County. Madera County also made the top-five list for the most fatalities related to alcohol, coming in at number four.
The Age Factor
The study found that at the age of 21, men were seven times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents stemming from drunk driving than women. Men are also more apt to be associated with these types of fatalities throughout their lives. The good news is that as men age, their odds of being involved in traffic fatalities drop significantly.
Another compelling fact to come out of this new research shows that the number one drug involved in traffic fatalities across the country was marijuana. Despite claims by some that “driving stoned is safer than driving drunk,” statistics say otherwise. The data also showed that fatalities related to marijuana were highest in male drivers between the ages of 17 and 27.
Drug and alcohol abuse is dangerous enough without adding the risk of getting behind the wheel. If you are struggling with substance abuse, it is important to get help now before circumstances like this arise. Contact Pasadena Recovery Center today at 866-663-300 to learn about our treatment programs and get the support you need to embrace a safe and sober lifestyle.