New Drug Driving Law: Is Your Pain Relief Blacklisted?

New Drug Driving Law: Is Your Pain Relief Blacklisted?


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New Drug Driving Law: Is Your Pain Relief Blacklisted?

, New Drug Driving Law: Is Your Pain Relief Blacklisted?

Stills from a police Video on the new technology allowing them to detect drug driving

When the Government introduced the new “zero-tolerance” Drug Driving Law in March 2015, most of us assumed that it would only apply to those driving under the influence of Class-A drugs such as Heroin and Cocaine, but doctors warn that motorists using prescribed painkillers and over-the-counter medications could be breaking the law.

Under the new legislation, police can test for illegal substances such as Cannabis, LSD, Ecstasy and Ketamine using roadside ‘Drugalysers’, and anyone found to be driving under the influence could face a criminal record, a fine of up to £5000, or 6 months in prison if they are charged with Drug Driving. But controversially, this new law applies to nine prescription drugs too.

Painkillers and anxiety tablets covered by the new drug driving law include:

  • Diazepam (Valium): Commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seizures and muscle spasms
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin): For the treatment of panic attacks and certain types of seizures
  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol): Designed to suppress the central nervous system, this sedative has been prescribed by doctors since the 1970s
  • Lorazepam (Ativan): Prescribed to treat seizures caused by epilepsy and anxiety disorders
  • Oxazepam (Serax): For the treatment of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Temazepam (Restoril): Provides short term relief from insomnia
  • Methadone (Dolophine and Methadose): Most commonly used for the treatment of heroin addiction
  • Amphetamine (Adderall): A stimulant and appetite suppressant, prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy
  • Opiates or Opioid-based Drugs (Morphine and Codeine): A highly effective painkiller used for relieving post-operative pain

While those taking the above mentioned prescription drugs within the recommended doses will not be penalised under the new law, drivers self-medicating with common over-the-counter opioid based drugs such as Zapain should monitor their intake carefully.

If you would like to buy Zapain for treatment there’s a few points that you need to look into beforehand. A combination of Paracetamol and Codeine (a powerful opioid) it is widely used to treat back pain, menstrual pains, migraines, toothache and post-operative pain.

While Zapain and other opioid based drugs such as Solpadol, Co-Dydramol and Kapake will not put drivers at risk when taken as directed, it is advised that you speak to your GP or prescriber if taking any of the above mentioned drugs in combination with other prescription medications.

When asked about the new Drug Driving legislation, Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill MP said, “If you are taking your medicine as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law and there is no need to worry. We advise anyone who is unsure about the effects of their medication or how the new legislation may affect them, to seek the advice of their doctor or pharmacist.”

He continued, “There will also be a medical defence if a driver has been taking medication as directed and is found to be over the limit but not impaired. Drivers who are taking prescribed medication at high doses are advised to carry evidence with them, such as prescriptions slips, when driving in order to minimise any inconvenience should they be asked to take a test by the police.”

While UK’s new drug driving law is most definitely targeted as those driving under the influence of banned substances and Class-A drugs, anyone taking the above mentioned prescription medicines or over the counter painkillers should seek advice from their doctor or registered prescriber before getting behind the wheel.

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