Prescription drugs pose threats to drivers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Prescription drugs pose threats to drivers

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- You've heard warnings about the dangers of driving drunk, but what about the dangers of driving under the influence of prescription drugs?

Officials at Mercy Medical Center want all of us to think before we get behind the wheel, especially at this time of year.

"There's illegal drugs, over the counter drugs, and prescription drugs, and each one of them by themselves can impair your driving skills. But then, often times they're mixed with alcohol, which can make for an even more dangerous condition," Carla Granstrom, Program Coordinator at Mercy Medical Center said.

December is national Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention month, and Carla Granstrom says the awareness generated in the holiday season couldn't come at a better time.

"December gives us the opportunity to bring it to the forefront, because it is such a family-oriented season, and there's lots of celebrating and lots of parties. So it's a good time to remind everybody how dangerous it is to drive impaired," Granstrom said.

Prescription drugs and medication are often left out of conversations about driving under the influence, but their impact can be just as dangerous.
"I think that people need to know the effects that these medications, even though they're prescriptions, they need to know the effect of those medications on their driving skills before they attempt to drive," Granstrom said.

Before you get behind the wheel, Granstrom says it's important to assess your ability to walk and talk. If you feel even slightly buzzed or dizzy, get a second opinion on your ability to drive. She says you'll never regret that conversation the next day.

"If you're feeling a little drowsy, or a little giddy, then you definitely should not be driving. If you can't navigate in the house, then you're definitely not able to drive a car," Granstrom said.

There are safe rides available for free over the holidays.

Between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m., call Siouxland Taxi if you need a free ride.
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