Driving a truck for a living is not for everyone, and some truck drivers find that the loneliness and boredom that sometimes come with the job description prove to be too much for them to handle. Research regarding substance abuse habits among those who drive commercial trucks shows that substance abuse is alarmingly common in the industry, which is cause for concern among everyone who travels the nation’s roadways.
According to the American Addiction Centers, the rate of drug and alcohol abuse among commercial truck drivers is high worldwide, but truck drivers who work on American soil have especially high rates of it. At the global level, the drugs of choice among truck drivers tend to be amphetamines or cocaine, both of which are known to have stimulating properties that some truckers rely on to stay awake.
Just how often are today’s semi-truck drivers abusing cocaine, amphetamines or alcohol? Numerous studies indicate that alcohol abuse is the most common type of substance abuse seen among commercial truckers, with up to 91% of truckers involved in 13 different studies acknowledging using it at work. Amphetamine use came in behind alcohol use, with about 82% of truckers reporting having used amphetamines while on the clock.
Cocaine use among truck drivers was less prevalent, but still clearly problematic, with more than 8 percent of truck drivers surveyed reporting having used it during work hours. While the risks of driving while intoxicated are well known, the dangers associated with amphetamine and cocaine abuse are somewhat less so. Using these drugs has the potential, however, to make truck drivers feel invisible and more prone to taking risks on the road.