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Prevalence of psychoactive substances in Dutch and Belgian traffic

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Abstract
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of psychoactive substances in general traffic in The Netherlands and Belgium. Method: Randomly selected car drivers and drivers of small vans in six police regions in The Netherlands and five police regions in Belgium were included between January 2007 and August 2009. Blood and oral fluid samples were analyzed for 23 substances, including ethanol (alcohol), by means of ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry or gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis. Samples were weighted according to the distribution of traffic over eight 6-hour periods. Substance groups were categorized in five mutually exclusive classes: single alcohol use, single illicit drug use, single medicinal drugs use, multiple drug use (including drugs from two or more separate substance groups but excluding alcohol), and drug use (either single or multiple) in combination with alcohol. Results: In total, 7,771 drivers (4,822 in The Netherlands and 2,949 in Belgium) were included in the study. In Belgium, the prevalence of single alcohol (6.4%) and single medicinal drugs (3.0%) was much higher than in The Netherlands (2.2% and 0.6%, respectively), whereas the single illicit drugs were more common in Dutch traffic (2.2%) than in Belgian traffic (0.6%). Compared with the estimated prevalence of psychoactive substances in the general driving public in Europe, the prevalence in Belgium (10.7%) was greater than the European average (7.4%), and the prevalence in The Netherlands was below the European average (5.5%). Conclusions: The observed prevalence of psychoactive substances varies largely between The Netherlands and Belgium. Probable reasons for the differences are the higher level of alcohol enforcement in The Netherlands and nonresponse bias in the Belgian study (for illicit drugs in particular). Furthermore, cultural differences and variances in prescription policy could also be influential.
Keywords
DRUGS, ORAL FLUID, COLLECTION, DRIVERS, BLOOD

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Chicago
Houwing, Sjoerd, Sara-Ann Legrand, René Mathijssen, Marjan Hagenzieker, Alain Verstraete, and Karel Brookhuis. 2012. “Prevalence of Psychoactive Substances in Dutch and Belgian Traffic.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 73 (6): 951–960.
APA
Houwing, S., Legrand, S.-A., Mathijssen, R., Hagenzieker, M., Verstraete, A., & Brookhuis, K. (2012). Prevalence of psychoactive substances in Dutch and Belgian traffic. JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS, 73(6), 951–960.
Vancouver
1.
Houwing S, Legrand S-A, Mathijssen R, Hagenzieker M, Verstraete A, Brookhuis K. Prevalence of psychoactive substances in Dutch and Belgian traffic. JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS. 2012;73(6):951–60.
MLA
Houwing, Sjoerd, Sara-Ann Legrand, René Mathijssen, et al. “Prevalence of Psychoactive Substances in Dutch and Belgian Traffic.” JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS 73.6 (2012): 951–960. Print.
@article{3149454,
  abstract     = {Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of psychoactive substances in general traffic in The Netherlands and Belgium.
Method: Randomly selected car drivers and drivers of small vans in six police regions in The Netherlands and five police regions in Belgium were included between January 2007 and August 2009. Blood and oral fluid samples were analyzed for 23 substances, including ethanol (alcohol), by means of ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry or gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis. Samples were weighted according to the distribution of traffic over eight 6-hour periods. Substance groups were categorized in five mutually exclusive classes: single alcohol use, single illicit drug use, single medicinal drugs use, multiple drug use (including drugs from two or more separate substance groups but excluding alcohol), and drug use (either single or multiple) in combination with alcohol.
Results: In total, 7,771 drivers (4,822 in The Netherlands and 2,949 in Belgium) were included in the study. In Belgium, the prevalence of single alcohol (6.4\%) and single medicinal drugs (3.0\%) was much higher than in The Netherlands (2.2\% and 0.6\%, respectively), whereas the single illicit drugs were more common in Dutch traffic (2.2\%) than in Belgian traffic (0.6\%). Compared with the estimated prevalence of psychoactive substances in the general driving public in Europe, the prevalence in Belgium (10.7\%) was greater than the European average (7.4\%), and the prevalence in The Netherlands was below the European average (5.5\%).
Conclusions: The observed prevalence of psychoactive substances varies largely between The Netherlands and Belgium. Probable reasons for the differences are the higher level of alcohol enforcement in The Netherlands and nonresponse bias in the Belgian study (for illicit drugs in particular). Furthermore, cultural differences and variances in prescription policy could also be influential.},
  author       = {Houwing, Sjoerd and Legrand, Sara-Ann and Mathijssen, Ren{\'e} and Hagenzieker, Marjan and Verstraete, Alain and Brookhuis, Karel},
  issn         = {1937-1888},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS},
  keyword      = {DRUGS,ORAL FLUID,COLLECTION,DRIVERS,BLOOD},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {951--960},
  title        = {Prevalence of psychoactive substances in Dutch and Belgian traffic},
  volume       = {73},
  year         = {2012},
}

Web of Science
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