Drivers in Massachusetts who are taking pain medications need to know their use negatively affects the ability to drive. Just as drivers can be arrested for driving under the effects of alcohol, they can also be liable for driving when taking opioids, whether it is a prescription or not.

According to FindLaw the negative effects of opioids, such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Heroin, include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Disconnectedness
  • Diminished reflexes
  • Mental clouding
  • Nausea and vomiting 

Someone under the influence of these drugs would have a hard time driving and making smart decisions. Because opioid use has become such an issue throughout the country, many states have trained their police officers to be able to recognize signs of drug use, making it easier to identify impaired drivers. Further testing through blood samples or urinalysis confirms drugs are in the system, which can lead to legal action.

While opioid addiction and misuse is common, the state of Massachusetts is leading the way in identifying the problem and taking steps to prevent further harm. WCVB reports Massachusetts is the first state to require medical students to go through opiate therapy and pain management training. By doing so, doctors and other healthcare professionals will be able to recognize high-risk patients and prescribe a better alternative for their pain. The state also requires patients who are currently taking opioid drugs to take the same pain management course before they are able to renew their licenses. Knowing the dangers and side effects of the drugs will hopefully keep more drivers off the road.