Corollary of Unintentional Opioid Abuse & Elderly Driver Divergence

When addressing the corollary of Unintentional Opioid Abuse & Elderly Driver’s there is an interesting conundrum. This Mode of Transportation is less stressful because of Cognitive Malfunction. You might think that the common interest lies in the addiction to a substance while on a road trip, but actually it involves the use of public transportation as the Mode of Travel. Using the bus requires various cognitive-behavioral functions as users look at destination routes and fare tables, select routes, decide which bus to board, decide which stop to get off, and execute the disembarkation. In addition, the vibration of the bus appears to lead to the same workload as an automobile. Meanwhile, the high change group for ability to comprehend situations was slightly more satisfied with the bus when pressed with other preoccupations. When riding the bus, unlike when driving an automobile, there is no need to assess traffic conditions; the slightly higher satisfaction level seems to reflect the fact that this ability is not required for bus ride. The same was true for the motion control function, probably because it is easier to get on and off a bus. Do we really want to say, “It is less stressful to use public transportation when you are high on drugs as the primary selling point?”

Singularity effect occurs as the number of deaths and conflicts increase while fewer people pay attention.

Are older driver’s ignoring functional limitations?  Are countermeasures to deal with functional discrepancies enough in transportation? Is the OPIOID CRISIS a National Pandemic? Has the SINGULARITY EFFECT taken hold of our spirit of benevolence?  Can Americans overcome PSYCHIC NUMBING?  Is the FALSE SENSE OF EFFICACY to powerful to re-imagine?  Most importantly, what about all of our family members impacted by unintentional OPIOID ABUSE/ ADDICTION/ OVERDOSE/ FATALITY?

Change in visual function is something most noticed by drivers in their 50s who drive infrequently and not for long distances. Drivers in rural areas with generally less need to perform the task of assessing the activity of surrounding traffic may undergo a change with aging in their ability to pay attention to other vehicles. Furthermore, low-mileage drivers may become strongly aware of functional change when they reach their 70s. For high reliance areas, in particular, the score for those in their 70s is significantly higher than that for both those in their 50s and those in their 60s. The observed change with aging in moderate and high reliance areas suggests that driving in a road traffic environment with fewer traffic signals and intersections increases one’s awareness of change in ability to execute.

According to Paul Slovic, Prof. of Psychology, University of Oregon, “We only help others because we feel good about helping until we notice a lot of others we can’t help. Once our minds build a false sense of efficacy, “Attitudes about the situation is that individual efforts don’t mean anything because the situation is so bad.”

But are these cognitive changes really that bad Or just peceptual based on Modes of Transporation differences?

There was little difference in importance by functional change but there were differences in the level of satisfaction in using various transportation modes by degree of functional change. Those cognitive and physical functional changes among the seven functions for which there was a difference are listed below:

  • Visual: The high change group was less satisfied with buses, trains, automobiles and bicycles.
  • Comprehension: The high change group was less satisfied with bicycles.
  • Decision-Making: The high change group was less satisfied with buses.
  • Execution: The high change group was less satisfied with buses.
  • Workload: The high change group was less satisfied with buses, trains and automobiles.
  • Motion Control: The high change group was more satisfied with trains.

Respondents with a change in the cognitive and physical abilities of visual function, decision-making ability, execution and workload sensitivity were less satisfied to use buses, suggesting that change in such functions has an effect on bus use and thus on attitudes about public transportation. 

How can we help someone addicted to drugs Or maybe an elderly driver that refuses to adjust appropriately to their changing cognitive and physical functional status?

Once our minds build a false perception about the severity of the situation our individual efforts don’t mean anything. (Paul Slovic, Prof. of Psychology, University of Oregon)

Most people only help others because they feel good about helping… until we notice a lot of dire unintentional functional status challenges others can’t help.

Investigation of the effects of demographic (age and area of residence) and automobile usage characteristics (driving frequency and annual mileage) on the factor scores revealed that cognitive and physical changes depended not only upon age but also on area of residence and automobile usage. From this results, daily driving experience was considered to influence cognitive and physical function. We analyzed the effect of cognitive and physical change on the level of satisfaction in using other modes of transportation from the perspective of elderly mobility. We found that drivers who scored higher for change in automobile driving skills remained satisfied with automobile use but not the use of public buses. (IATSS Research Volume 30, Issue 1, 2006, Pages 38-51)

An individual that doesn’t accept responsibility for his/her own detrimental behaviors is one of the biggest challenges for professional and volunteer rehabilitation support personnel.

Unintentional Drug Overdose and Abuse

In recent months, certain states have experienced longer than usual delays in submitting drug overdose deaths. Recent trends may underestimate the death count in affected states and this potential impact should be considered when comparing results for states to previous months.

UPDATE 2/15/2023: The Monthly Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts report provides estimates for the United States and jurisdictions within 4 months after the date of death.

As a society if we just become blind to tragedy, we become desensitized. And psychic numbing equals more suffering and less empathy.  However, this insensitivity not only affects narcotics abuse fielded professionals.

In the public transportation policy sector, we find some analysis of “on-road performance and naturalistic driving data.”  This type of data explores whether participants with poorer driving skills were more likely to limit their overall driving time and/or miles to avoid potentially difficult conditions, or otherwise self-regulate to minimize the propensity of accidents and fatalities.

Naïve persona drives neglect and heightened anxiety in the “bizarre-universe” of opposite plausibility.

To help explain narcotics use and addiction Biomedical scientists specially trained in biology, particularly in the context of medicine and how narcotics impact the human body noted, The Injury Prevention Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health 2019 reports “Of the approximately 700 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma each year, seven out of ten involve at least one prescription drug.”

Several survey panelists explained how the effects of narcotics feel:

During misuse or abuse of opioids first, the drug spreads throughout your body; When it hits the brain, you get happy; Your breath starts to slow; Your heart rate slows as the opioid suppresses neurological signals; There is an overwhelming amount of opioid in your brain, your body stops receiving the correct signals at all to breathe. Your lungs and heart are barely working.  You foam at the mouth, or choke; Your brain gets permanently damaged. leading to addiction and even death.  

Opioid overdoses kill more Oklahomans than motor vehicle crashes. Psychic numbing equals more suffering and less empathy for people that look like ALL of US. 

A review of recent literature, followed by a panel meeting with driving safety experts, prioritized medical conditions for further study.  These medical conditions dramatically impact driving behaviors.

As the elderly population has grown so has the number of elderly automobile users, but the use of automobiles by the elderly has both a positive side and a negative side. On the positive side, automobiles enable the elderly to expand the scope of their lives and lead richer lives. On the negative side, the elderly are involved in accidents whose cause is believed to lie in some functional change of the elderly. Agencies propose counter measures which offset behavioral quirks associated with aging and disease and thereby helping to achieve safe mobility. Transportation policy and automotive technology industry experts gain better understanding of elderly mobility by clarifying the driving capabilities of the elderly.

Surveys of automobile use by the elderly, such as driving frequency and driving objective, have been conducted in various countries. They reveal that aging leads to reduced driving frequency and distance traveled, more trips to established destinations near the home and less driving at night and in poor weather. Accidents involving the elderly have also been studied. Analysis based on accidents in Japan shows that many accidents occur at intersections and involve a failure to stop, running a red traffic light or interfering with traffic that has the right of way. Accidents are an end result of driving behavior and governed by a variety of factors, so it can be difficult to determine when fault lies with the driver. Therefore, to investigate the relationship between accidents and the mistakes that elderly drivers are aware they make in ordinary driving, Parker, et al. used the Driving Behavior Questionnaire (DBQ) developed by Reason, et al. to survey 2,000 people concerning mistakes they made during everyday driving (errors that could lead to an accident and lapses without such a direct link) and their accident experience. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Conditions were added by panelists

  1. All errors listed for dementia.
  2. Lack of endurance and fatigue leading to slower reaction times predominantly during transitions in and out of vehicle and during parking maneuvers.
  3. Temporary lapses of attention leading to lane position deviation, delayed reactions at intersections, navigation errors.
  4. Anxiety resulting in slowing on approaches to intersections “so nervous they can’t drive straight.”
  5. Oxygen storage in vehicle may interfere with vehicle control.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

  • Delayed braking response times to stop signs.
  • Driving too slowly.
  • Crossing edge lines and centerlines.
  • Failure to check blind spots while merging.
  • Driving through stop signs and traffic lights (central field deficits).
  • Hitting pedestrians and cyclists (Contrast sensitivity loss).

Parkinson’s disease panelists report they are more likely to make tactical errors (e.g., failure to obey rules of the road, speed, and basic driving maneuvers) than strategic or operational errors.

  • Slow brake reaction time
  • Lane observance errors
  • Stop sign errors
  • Turn and lane change errors
  • Speed control errors (too slow)
  • Begin deceleration closer to traffic signals and stop beyond the optimal position for signals compared to controls
  • More at-fault safety errors compared to controls (erratic steering, lane deviation, shoulder incursion, stopping or slowing in unsafe circumstances, and unsafe intersection behavior) during a sign identification task and a navigation task
  • Slow decision time to brake (cognitive) and slow to initiate leg movement for braking (physical)
  • All the hazardous errors made by patients with dementia
  • Slowness of movement when checking blind spots and making lane changes, so that when they finally make the maneuver, the traffic situation has changed

According to Emanuela Campanella, a multimedia video journalist for Global News, “Yemen after years of conflict was only noticed after a series of pictures depicting dying children and the tragedies involving the Human (One).  The singularity effect occurs as the number of deaths and conflicts increase while fewer people pay attention.

Janice Stein, founding director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy notes, “Everybody knows about the war on Opioid Mis-Use, Abuse and Addiction in America — commenting that Drugs themselves, it is NOT the problem — but humans are only willing to hear so much about tragedy and devastation before they start changing the channel.” Is Stein suggesting that the reality of Opioid Abuse is just the result of Americans Changing the Channel and no one in the US Drug Cultures are really ever going to truly mandate the war on drugs?

If you are being negatively impacted by OPIODS here is a brief list of rehabilitation and treatment service providers in the Tulsa, OK area. 

Substance Abuse Services Inc.

Oklahoma Safety Center

6707 East 41st Street, Tulsa, OK 74145

Main Tel: 918-828-9000

Center for Therapeutic Interventions

7477 East 46 Place, Tulsa, OK 74145

Main Tel: 918-384-0002

Mission Treatment Centers Inc

Substance Abuse Treatment

5550 South Garnett Road,Suite 200 , Tulsa, OK 74146

Main Tel: 918-665-2501

Tulsa VA Outpatient Clinic

10159 East 11th Street, Suite 100 , Tulsa, OK 74128

Main Tel: 918-610-2000


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.