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Most Common Drugs Truckers Use to Stay Awake

Drug Use in the Trucking Industry

Trucking is a demanding profession that often requires long hours on the road, leading to driver fatigue and drowsiness. Besides caffeine from drinking a few cups of coffee, it’s not uncommon for truckers to turn to drugs to help them stay awake when assigned a long haul. While some of these drugs are legal and easily accessible, others can be obtained illegally and are more dangerous. Here are some of the most common drugs truckers use to fight drowsiness and fatigue.

Over-The-Counter Drugs

While coffee is a staple for many truckers, it may not be potent enough to keep them awake when having to travel hundreds of miles for hours. Energy drinks and pills, as well as over-the-counter energy supplements, have their drawbacks. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), consuming energy drinks have a detrimental effect on health, including an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In the long run, energy drinks and supplements can cause:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Periods of inexhaustible energy

Truckers who experience the above after taking over-the-counter energy supplements are at risk of not getting enough sleep, making them irritable, less alert, and tired. Decreased alertness combined with fatigue can increase the risk of a crash.

Prescription or Illicit Drugs

According to American Addiction Centers, a recent study of drug use among truckers found that 21.3% of respondents in the study used amphetamines in order to increase productivity and stay awake. Amphetamine is a stimulant typically prescribed by doctors to treat sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and ADHD. Other prescription medications that truckers have used to keep alert on the road include modafinil and armodafinil, also used to treat narcolepsy. Truckers may also use ADD and ADHD prescription medications such as Adderall or Ritalin. These drugs are highly addictive, and when used recreationally without a doctor’s supervision, they can pose many health risks. Just like with over-the-counter drugs, truckers can crash and burn, leaving them exhausted, less alert, and fatigued from lack of sleep after taking these drugs.

Contact Our San Jose Truck Accident Lawyers For Help Today.

Being involved in a truck crash is often a grave matter. The size and weight of commercial trucks relative to passenger vehicles often result in life-altering injuries for those involved. At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, our San Jose truck accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to assist you throughout the legal process and protect your rights. We understand the complex laws and regulations governing commercial trucking and will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in your case.