This cross-sectional study assessed the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among drivers and their association with recent use of alcohol and drugs using telephone interviews.
Drivers (n = 1,134) from a roadside survey from 25 Brazilian state capitals were breathalyzed and had their saliva tested for psychoactive drugs. A telephone interview was performed to obtain psychiatric disorders data through MINI. The association was analyzed with a Poisson regression model.
The prevalence of any psychiatric disorder was 40.5% among drivers with recent use, compared to 12.9% in the other drivers. Alcohol/drug-positive drivers reported a higher prevalence of depression (19.4%), mania (6.5%), hypomania (5.4%), post-traumatic stress disorder (8.6%), antisocial personality (7.8%), and substance/alcohol abuse or dependence (48.1%) when compared to other drivers (3.5%, 2.5%, 2.1%, 0.5%, 1.3% and 18.3% [p < 0.001], respectively). Drivers with recent use were 2.5 times more likely to have any psychiatric diagnosis (CI: 1.8-3.6, p < 0.001).
This is the first study in Low/Middle-Income Countries (LAMIC) that aims to evaluate psychiatric disorders of drivers with recent use of alcohol and drugs using telephone interviews. Psychiatric disorders were associated with this use. This type of epidemiological information is vital to plan strategies aimed at curtailing related problems, since these psychiatric conditions are diagnosable.
Results can help design interventions, treatment programs and focused psychiatric evaluation, both in Brazil and abroad.
Keywords: Drivers; Alcohol; Drugs; Psychiatric Disorders; Telephone.