December 22, 2011

The European Union’s (EU) Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines (DRUID) held its last meeting earlier this fall, marking a 5-year effort to gain insight into the full impact of substance abuse on road safety.

Coordinated by the Federal Highway Research Institute of Germany and begun in 2006, DRUID provided scientific support to European Commission (EU) transport policymakers by suggesting guidelines and measures to combat impaired driving. Financed within the EU Sixth Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, experts from 18 countries representing 37 institutions worked together to gain new insights into the real degree of impairment caused by psychoactive substances such as alcohol, drugs, and certain medicines, and their actual impact on road safety.

NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D.,—along with more than 300 international scientists, representatives of European organizations and policymakers, and members of the press—participated in the DRUID conference that was held in downtown Cologne September 27–28, 2011. The conference included a plenary session, press conference, and in-depth scientific sessions where participants learned about the results, achievements, and conclusions of this important initiative.