The effect of d,l-methamphetamine on simulated driving performance
Rationale Illicit drugs such as methamphetamine are commonly abused drugs that have also been observed to be prevalent in drivers injured in road accidents. The exact effect of methamphetamine or its specific isomers on driving and driving behaviour have yet to be thoroughly investigated. Methods Twenty healthy recreational illicit stimulant users (ten males, ten females), aged between 21 and 34 years (mean = 24.3 years, SD = 3.4 years), attended two testing sessions involving oral consumption of 0.42 mg/kg d,l-methamphetamine or a matching placebo. The drug administration was counterbalanced, double-blind, and medically supervised. At each session, driving performance was assessed 2.5 h post-drug administration. Results Mean blood and saliva d,l-methamphetamine concentrations of approximately 90 and 400 ng/ml, respectively, at 2 h and 95 and 475 ng/ml at 3 h were observed. These levels of d,l-methamphetamine were found not to significantly impair, or improve, driving performance at the 2.5-h post-drug administration time point. Conclusions The findings of this study illustrate that d,l-methamphetamine has no significant effect on simulated driving performance.