Alcohol is still the most commonly used intoxicant among drivers on Norwegian roads.
Last year, motorists and motorcyclists were found to be intoxicated in about 6,500 cases. Methamphetamine was detected in 1,480 cases, four times as many as in 2001.
In 2009, about 9600 samples were analysed from people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Of these, approximately 1,700 were breath samples taken locally by the police. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health analysed approximately 3,300 blood samples for alcohol only and 4,600 blood samples for alcohol, medicines and narcotics. The NIPH routinely searches for 30 different intoxicant medicines and narcotics, and often detects more than one in the same sample.
Not just alcohol
In blood samples where a broad analysis was made (an analysis of alcohol and the most common intoxicant substances) cannabis, methamphetamine and amphetamine came high on the list, along with tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine-type - such as diazepam Valium ®, Vival ® and Stesolid ®. In 2009, Clonazepam (Rivotril ®), which is mainly prescribed for epilepsy, was the second most common benzodiazepine. The police have also reported increased seizures of the drug indicating an increasing illegal traffic of clonazepam (Rivotril ®). MDMA (ecstasy) was detected in only 12 (0.3%) of blood samples. For comparison, in 2001 MDMA (ecstasy) was found in 194 blood samples.
Chemical name Medication name / description Total (n=4590) Percent 1 Methamphetamine 1480 32 % 2 THC Active ingredient in cannabis 1252 27 % 3 Diazepam Valium® Vival® Stesolid® 1084 24 % 4 Amphetamines 1071 23 % 5 Clonazepam Rivotril® 894 19 % 6 Alprazolam Xanor® 434 9 % 7 Morphine Heroin, Dolcontin® 349 8 % 8 Nitrazepam Apodorm® Mogadon® 263 6 % 9 Oxazepam Sobril® Alopam® 230 5 % 10 Codeine Paralgin Forte® 206 4 % 11 Methadone Methadone® 145 3 % 12 Zopiclone Imovane® Zopiclone® 145 3 % 13 Flunitrazepam Flunipam® Rohypnol® 85 2 % 14 Buprenorphine Subutex® Temgesic® Suboxone® 75 2 % 15 Fenazepam 69 2 % 16 Zolpidem Stilnoct® 68 1 % 17 GHB 50 1 % 18 Cocaine 22 0.5 % 19 Meprobamate Somadril® Anervan® 20 0.4 % 20 MDMA Ecstasy 12 0.3 %
28th June, 2010
Posted on behalf of Terrapinzflyer who found the article.
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