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The Prevention of Drugged Driving: Needs, Barriers, and Self-Efficacy of Prevention Professionals


Driving under the influence of drugs (e.g., marijuana, prescription medications) is a major public health and safety concern. As a relatively understudied and growing problem, prevention strategies that address it are not as clear, well-tested, or evidence-based as those developed for preventing other risky behaviors such as drunk driving. Key components of a successful prevention of this harmful behavior are the efforts of practitioners working in the areas of substance abuse prevention and highway safety for whom drugged driving is likely a part, but not the sole focus, of their job. We surveyed 238 prevention professionals working in substance abuse prevention and highway safety from 46 states to understand their needs, barriers, and self-efficacy to prevent drugged driving in their communities. Most respondents reported needing training and resources to implement strategies related to drugged driving, particularly with regard to engaging youth and parents, if they are to address this problem effectively. The majority of respondents also reported low levels of self-efficacy for implementing a wide range of drugged driving prevention strategies. Our findings reveal that the professionals we need to feel prepared and efficacious to prevent drugged driving have generally low feelings of confidence in their ability to do so.

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The authors wish to thank Dr. Allison Schmidt for her time reviewing this manuscript and all the participants who generously gave their time and attention to this survey. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse und Award Number R44DA038410 awarded to the first author. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Rebecca L. Stelter.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Stelter, R.L., Kupersmidt, J.B., Brodar, K. et al. The Prevention of Drugged Driving: Needs, Barriers, and Self-Efficacy of Prevention Professionals. J Primary Prevent 40, 449–461 (2019).

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