Drugs and Driving

 
     

Unit Leader: Dr. Katherine Papafotiou

Introduction:

The Drugs and Driving Unit (DDRU) was established in 1997 to conduct high quality research in the general area of drugs consumption and driving. As such it has developed strong research relationships with VicRoads and the Victoria Police where the main focus of research has been on understanding driver behaviour and how different drugs impact on driving ability. A more recent focus of the unit has been to examine relationships between driving ability, illicit drugs, sobriety test performance (SFST), and the level of a drug found in blood and saliva. The DDRU with the support of VicRoads, the Victoria Police and other government and community groups, have scientifically examined the utility of sobriety tests (which are now part of Victorian government law), in detecting drivers who have consumed drugs and driving behaviour. Past projects have focused on the impairing effects of cannabis, cannabis combined with alcohol, benzodiazapines, dexamphetamine and methamphetamine. The Australian Research Council recently approved for funding, a large study that will identify the impairing effects of MDMA (Ecstasy tablets).

Key Members:

Name: Prof Con Stough
Role in Unit: Director

Name: Rebecca Neate
Role in Unit: Research Officer

Name: Jenny Lloyd
Role in Unit: Research Nurse

Name: Prof Philip Swann
Role in Unit:Adjunct Professor.
Manager: Drugs, Fatigue and Alcohol Unit.
VicRoads.

Name: Dr Edward Ogden
Role in Unit: Medical Consultant
Forensic Medical Consultants.

Name: Inspector Martin Boorman
Role in Unit: Law Enforcement Consultant.
Traffic Alcohol Section. Victoria Police.

Name: Melinda Jackson.
Role in Unit: PhD student

Name:Tamara Wolan
Role in Unit: PhD student

Name: Drew Gallus
Role in Unit:…Honours student

Name: Kylie McCardle
Role in Unit:…Honours student

Name: Aaron Mathews
Role in Unit: Honours student

Name: Adam Potter
Role in Unit: Honours student

Current Research Projects:

The effects of methamphetamine and MDMA on Driving, SFSTs, Cognition and Mood

Attitudes towards drugged driving in Victoria

Chronic MDMA use, Cognition and Mood

Grants received:

2006 ARC Discovery, $400,000
Australian Research Council, Australian Commonwealth Grant

Random roadside saliva testing for amphetamine-type stimulants in drivers: An examination of the relationship between positive drug tests and driving impairment after the consumption of methamphetamine and MDMA

Stough, Papafotiou, Ogden

2006 Swinburne University National Competitive Grant Scheme, $3,000

Proposal approved to submit national competitive grant

Papafotiou, Stough

2005 Swinburne University National Competitive Grant Scheme, $1,500

Proposal approved to submit national competitive grant

Papafotiou, Stough

2005 National Institute on Drug Abuse, United States of America, Donation Cannabis Cigarettes

Evaluation of Saliva Drug Detection Devices to test for the presence of cannabis in humans

Stough, Papafotiou, Ogden, Swann

2004 VicRoads, Australia, $157,000

Validation of saliva drug detection devices to test for methamphetamine and THC in humans

Papafotiou, Stough, Ogden

2003 VicRoads, Australia, $63,000

An Evaluation of SFSTs for the detection of impairment caused by methamphetamine

Papafotiou, Stough, Ogden

2003 VicRoads, Australia, $51,000

An Evaluation of SFSTs for the detection of impairment caused by dexamphetamine

Papafotiou, Stough, Ogden

2001 National Drug Law Enforcement Research Grant, Australia, $400,000

An Evaluation of SFSTs for the detection of impairment caused by alcohol and marijuana alone and in combination.

Stough, Papafotiou, Boorman, Ogden

1999 VicRoads, Australia, $55,000

An Evaluation of the Efficiency of Sobriety Testing to Detect Blood Levels of Cannabis and Impaired Driving Ability

Papafotiou PhD Project

1999 National Institute on Drug Abuse, United States of America, Donation Cannabis Cigarettes

An Evaluation of the Efficiency of Sobriety Testing to Detect Blood Levels of Cannabis and Impaired Driving Ability

Papafotiou, Stough, Ogden, Swann

Key Publications:

Journal Articles

Papafotiou K., Carter J. & Stough C. (2005). An evaluation of the sensitivity of the Standardised Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) to detect impairment due to marijuana intoxication. Psychopharmacology, 180, 107-114.

Papafotiou K., Carter J. & Stough C. (2005). The relationship between performance on the Standardised Field Sobriety Tests, driving performance and the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in blood. Forensic Science International, 155 (2-3), 172-178.

Silber, B. Y., Croft, R. J., Papafotiou, K., Stough, C. (2006). The Acute Effects of d-amphetamine and Methamphetamine on Attention and Psychomotor Performance. Psychopharmacology 187, 154-169.

Silber B. Y., Papafotiou K., Croft R. J., Ogden E., Swann P. & Stough C. (2005). The effects of dexamphetamine on simulated driving performance. Psychopharmacology, 179 (3), 536-543.

Silber B. Y., Papafotiou K., Croft R. J. & Stough C. (2005). An Evaluation of the sensitivity of the standardised field sobriety test to detect the presence of amphetamine. Psychopharmacology 182 (1), 153-159.

Stough, C, Boorman, M., Ogden, O. & Papafotiou, K. (2006). An evaluation of the Standardised Field Sobriety Tests for the Detection of Impairment Associated with Cannabis With and Without Alcohol. NDLERF, Monograph Series No. 17.

Thompson, J, Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K, Stough C, Nagata, K & Silberstein, R. B. (2000). The effects of nicotine on the 13Hz steady-state visually evoked potential. Clinical Neurophysiology, 111, 1589-95.

Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K & Stough, C. (2000). Alcohol impairs speed of information processing, simple reaction time and differentially impairs higher order cognitive ability. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 35(2), 197-201.

Conference Abstracts

Papafotiou K., Stough C. & Ogden E. (2004). The effects of dexamphetamine on SFSTs and driving performance. T2004 Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. The 17th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Scotland, August 8-13.

Thompson J., Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K, Stough C., Pipingas A, Silberstein R. B. & Nathan P. J. (1998). Changes to prefrontal electrophysiological activity during attention following nicotine. The Australasian Society of Psychiatric Research (ASPR) Conference

Thompson J., Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K, Stough C., Pipingas A, Silberstein R. B. & Nathan P. J. (1999). Changes to prefrontal electrophysiological activity during enhanced attention following nicotine. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 9(Suppl 5), S356 (P.6.029).

Thompson J., Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K, Stough C., Pipingas A & Silberstein R. B. (2000). Changes in prefrontal steady state visually evoked potential in a visual vigilance task: effects of nicotine. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 35(1), 33.

Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K & Stough C. (1999). Alcohol impairs speed of information processing, simple and choice reaction time and differentially impairs higher order cognitive abilities. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 9(Suppl 5), 356 (P.6.030).

Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K., Stough C. & Ogden E. (2000). An examination of the efficiency of sobriety testing in detecting levels of THC: A Research Protocol. T2000 Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. The 15th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Sweden, May 22-26.

Tzambazis (Papafotiou) K., Stough C. & Ogden E. (2002). SFSTs and driving ability. Are they related? T2002 Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. The 16th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Canada, August 4-9.

Conferences and seminars

2007 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference
Date: 17 - 19 October 2007
Venue: Crown Promenade Melbourne
Website: www.roadsafetyconference2007.com.au

 

 
 

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