Yvonne Terry-McElrath

Yvonne Terry-McElrathHigh school seniors today drink less alcohol and smoke less pot than their predecessors. One-third of high school seniors say they didn’t do either drug in the last year, compared to just 12 percent who reported abstaining in 1979. But drug use is still an issue. And for teens who both drank and smoked, and especially for those who did both at the same time, the risk of unsafe driving is higher, according to an April 28 article in ScienceDaily. The article featured the work of ISR researcher , who analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future study, which looks at teenagers’ use of drugs and alcohol. Some 21 percent of youth who participated in the study said they drank and smoked pot at the same time. And their safety records were worse than those of teens who just drank, or those who used both but not at the same time. “It’s well known that both drinking and other drug use are linked to risky driving,” said Terry-McElrath. “But this suggests that it’s not only the frequency of substance use that’s important. The patterns of drug use are also related to the risk of unsafe driving.”