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How common is substance abuse among truckers?

Driving a truck for a living can prove lonely and, in some cases, quite boring, and in some cases, this can make those who drive semi-trucks for a living more likely to engage in certain dangerous behaviors on the job. Substance abuse, in particular, is a problem that continues to plague the trucking industry and endanger all Oregon residents, with truck drivers who use alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel posing a substantial threat to all motorists.

Per the American Addiction Centers, there is a clear link between the prevalence of substance abuse in the trucking industry and the unfavorable working conditions that come with the job. Truckers often face tough assignments that require them to work long hours and stay alert for long stretches at a time, and some trucking professionals turn to amphetamines or cocaine to help them complete their tasks in a timely manner.

Just how often are truck drivers using amphetamines, cocaine and other drugs? In 36 studies of trucker habits conducted over a recent 13-year stretch, more than 8 percent of those involved attested that they had abused cocaine on the job. The number of truckers who acknowledged using amphetamines was significantly higher, however, with about 82.5 percent admitting to doing so.

While these figures are cause for alarm, so, too, is the percentage of truck drivers who use alcohol on the job, despite the extremely well-publicized risks associated with doing so. Up to 91 percent of the truck drivers involved in those 36 studies reported abusing alcohol while at, or prior to getting behind, the wheel of a semi-truck.

This material about the prevalence of substance abuse in the trucking industry is meant for educational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice.

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