Big surprise. A new study from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, has concluded that mixing alcohol and marijuana doubles a person’s risk of driving drunk. The study, which will be published in the May, 2015 edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, confirmed what most of us suspected anyways.
Researchers analyzed data from 2005 and 2010 national surveys from nearly 4,104 men and 4,522 women in the United States. Those surveyed were divided into three categories; those who only drank alcohol, those who used marijuana and alcohol together, and those who used marijuana and alcohol separately.
Responses to questions in the survey indicated that those who drank alcohol and used marijuana simultaneously were more than twice as likely to drive drunk than those who just drank alcohol.
"If cannabis use becomes more prevalent as U.S. states and other countries continue to legalize it, then we need to be prepared to advise people appropriately," cautioned lead author of the study, Meenakshi Subbaraman. "If you use both substances together, your risk of drunk driving, and possibly other consequences, may be higher than if you stick to using one at a time."
According to the study, those who used marijuana and drank alcohol simultaneously were also three times more likely to suffer social consequences such as fights, arguments, relationship struggles, career problems, legal issues, and drinking-related accidents.
The researchers have suggested, in states that have legalized marijuana, requiring "distributors to include warning labels communicating risks (especially regarding driving) associated with combining alcohol and cannabis on all cannabis packaging."