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Psychoactive substances: impairments and accidents. (1994)

Psychoactive substances: impairments and accidents. (1994)

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    Ferrara SD. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. May 1994;7(3):278-284.

    Abstract
    This paper reviews the most recent developments concerning the role played by psychoactive substances in causing impairment, traffic, occupational, and other accidents. Empirical and epidemiological knowledge acquired over recent years has given rise to a general consensus on the capacity of psychoactive substances for producing impairment and causing accidents (alcohol, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, narcotics, psychomimetics, and solvents). For other classes of substances, evaluations need to be made of the effect of each drug, with the consequent careful use of those compounds which offer a better risk: benefit ratio. A number of guiding principles should be followed in future studies, in particular, creative and international synergistic research should be related to the real world in order to link laboratory results to field observations reflecting individual actual reality, often affected by other impairing conditions such as personality and comorbid psychiatric disorders.