Driving while under the influence of hallucinogens: Prevalence, correlates, and risk profiles

Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Manuel Cano, James Hodges, Sehun Oh, Audrey Hang Hai, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hallucinogen use is rising in the US, yet little is known regarding the prevalence and psychosocial/behavioral correlates of driving under the influence of these drugs. Methods: This study examined data from 4447 individuals ages 16–64 who reported past-year hallucinogen use in the 2016–2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Prevalence estimates (with 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were calculated for driving under the influence of hallucinogens (DUIH). Logistic regression examined psychosocial/behavioral correlates of DUIH, and latent class analysis (LCA) characterized subgroups of individuals reporting DUIH. Results: The prevalence of past-year hallucinogen use was 2.42% (CI = 2.30–2.54) and, in the general population, the prevalence of DUIH was 0.21%. Among past-year hallucinogen users, 8.94% (CI = 7.74–10.31) reported DUIH on at least one occasion over the previous 12 months. The probability of DUIH increased significantly with more frequent use. Compared to individuals who used hallucinogens and did not report DUIH, individuals reporting DUIH were significantly more likely to report mental health problems; use of other illicit drugs; selling drugs; a past-year arrest; or driving under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other illicit drugs. LCA identified three classes of individuals reporting DUIH, characterized by: use of and driving under the influence of cannabis; use of and driving under the influence of cannabis and other illicit drugs; and mental health concerns. Conclusions: Nearly one in ten individuals who report using hallucinogens also report driving under the influence of hallucinogens—drugs that affect perception and risk-taking, with alarming implications for driving safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109055
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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