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Drug Futures - Learning from the US illicit drug experience

Drug misuse affects Australian communities, families and individuals. This includes health harms such as injury, lung and other cancers; cardiovascular disease; liver cirrhosis; mental health problems and road trauma. Social harms include violence and associated criminal activity. Drug misuse increases the cost and work load for healthcare and law enforcement, decreases productivity, reinforces marginalisation and disadvantage and contributes to domestic violence and child protections issues. Harmful drug use is also associated with social and health determinants such as discrimination, unemployment, homelessness, poverty and family breakdown. 

Professor Marilyn Huestis explains the driving simulator at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Video by The National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Professor Marilyn Huestis Q & A: Matching Drug Effects to Drug Concentrations
Professor Marilyn Huestis, chief of the Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section of NIDA’s Intramural Research Program, talks about conducting research on drug effects with human subjects, developing tests to help law enforcement identify drugged drivers, and an assay to help identify children whose prenatal exposure to anti-HIV drugs may put them at risk for adverse developmental outcomes.

Effects of marijuana – with and without alcohol – on driving performance
Using the most sophisticated driving simulator of its kind to mirror real-life situations, new research shows that marijuana use impairs one measure of driving performance. People driving with blood concentrations of 13.1 µg/L THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – showed increased weaving within the lane, similar to those with 0.08 breath alcohol, the threshold for impaired driving in many states…



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The National Institute on Drug Abuse