Original Investigation

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 219, Issue 4, pp 1081-1087

First online:

The effect of d,l-methamphetamine on simulated driving performance

  • Beata Y. SilberAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Rodney J. CroftAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of TechnologyDepartment of Psychology, University of Wollongong
  • , Luke A. DowneyAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , David A. CamfieldAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Katherine PapafotiouAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Phillip SwannAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Con StoughAffiliated withCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology Email author 

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Abstract

Rationale

Illicit drugs such as methamphetamine are commonly abused drugs that have also been observed to be prevalent in drivers injured in road accidents. The exact effect of methamphetamine or its specific isomers on driving and driving behaviour have yet to be thoroughly investigated.

Methods

Twenty healthy recreational illicit stimulant users (ten males, ten females), aged between 21 and 34 years (mean = 24.3 years, SD = 3.4 years), attended two testing sessions involving oral consumption of 0.42 mg/kg d,l-methamphetamine or a matching placebo. The drug administration was counterbalanced, double-blind, and medically supervised. At each session, driving performance was assessed 2.5 h post-drug administration.

Results

Mean blood and saliva d,l-methamphetamine concentrations of approximately 90 and 400 ng/ml, respectively, at 2 h and 95 and 475 ng/ml at 3 h were observed. These levels of d,l-methamphetamine were found not to significantly impair, or improve, driving performance at the 2.5-h post-drug administration time point.

Conclusions

The findings of this study illustrate that d,l-methamphetamine has no significant effect on simulated driving performance.

Keywords

Methamphetamine Driving Illicit Driving simulator Drugs Stimulants