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Substance abuse on the rise in commercial trucking

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Truck Accidents |

Driving a truck for a living involves certain challenges. Some truckers across Indiana and the rest of the nation find themselves turning to drugs to combat the rigors of the profession. In fact, research shows that the number of professional truck drivers using drugs on the job is rising rapidly even though the use of any drug has the potential to hinder a trucker’s driving ability.

According to ESR Check, drug use among commercial truckers increased in multiple categories, per drug use data pulled from the first eight months of 2020 and 2021. During the first eight months of 2020, truckers received 35,252 drug infractions across 14 categories. During this same stretch in 2021, truckers received 39,785 drug violations.

Truck drivers and marijuana

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that logs truck driver drug infractions to keep substance-abusing truck drivers off of the nation’s roads. The clearinghouse revealed that all types of drug use increased by 13% between the first eight months of 2020 and the same stretch in 2021. However, it showed that marijuana use, in particular, rose sharply during this time, increasing from 18,252 marijuana infractions in 2020 to 21,438 in 2021.

Truck drivers and cocaine and methamphetamine

Commercial truck drivers’ use of cocaine and methamphetamine also increased between January and August of 2020 and the same span in 2021. Trucker cocaine infractions increased from 5,233 to 5,913, while trucker methamphetamine infractions rose from 3,379 in 2020 to 3,526 in 2021.

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has logged more than 95,700 truck driver drug infractions since it first took shape in early 2020.

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