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Most Popular Drugs with Truckers


Federal regulations require drug testing of truck drivers, and an astounding 56,000 failed drug tests in 2020. The numbers have remained elevated ever sense. Trucking companies are supposed to suspend truckers and not let them get back on the road until they successfully complete a return to duty process. Unfortunately, however, the trucker shortage has put pressure on trucking companies to get people behind the wheel who pose a danger to the public. Below, our West Palm Beach truck accident lawyer at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather looks at some of the most common drugs used and how they can impair a trucker’s performance.


In 2020, around 29,500 truck driver violations were for use of marijuana. This was the most used drug by truckers. Marijuana is often used recreationally because it is a depressant, and some people express less inhibitions when using it. Sadly, the drug can impair a trucker by causing sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and poor problem-solving.


Thousands of truckers fail drug tests every year for amphetamine use. This is a popular drug for truckers because it is a stimulant which increases wakefulness—critical for a monotonous job like long hauling. Some truckers might have used amphetamine to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a child, only to continue using it while driving.

This drug is addictive. At high doses, a person can suffer from psychosis, such as delusions, which make driving a very dangerous activity.


Interestingly, cocaine doesn’t always show up in urine tests, and most trucking companies use urine tests. However, a handful have begun using hair tests, and they show that cocaine use might be more common than marijuana.

Cocaine is a stimulant which can power a trucker’s energy and stamina. Some people even report being able to think more clearly when using cocaine However, it also has negative side effects, including vertigo and an increase in impaired driving. Also, even after cocaine is no longer in the driver’s system, the driver can still be driving distracted or impaired as they come off the high of the stimulant drug.


Oxycodone is an opioid which is highly addictive. Many truckers probably first use it as a painkiller after surgery before using it recreationally because of the euphoria it may cause.

Negative side effects include hallucinations, delirium, and mania. A trucker addicted to oxycodone could crash because he is in the midst of a manic episode.

Did an Impaired Trucker Strike You?

Drug use leads to preventable accidents and serious injuries. At Smith, Ball, Baez & Prather, we recommend that anyone hurt in a truck accident consider the possibility that the trucker was chemically impaired. Federal regulations require driver testing after certain wrecks, but you can also mention your suspicions to any police officer who reports to the accident scene. Remember to raise your concerns with an attorney also.

Impaired driving is against the law, and victims can seek compensation for all their losses. We have sued truckers and trucking companies for property damage, pain, medical bills, and lost income. An impaired trucker might also owe punitive damages, depending on the circumstances.

Call Us to Talk with a Lawyer

Our Palm Beach Gardens trucking accident lawyer will gladly review whether you can seek compensation against a truck driver or their employer. Contact us to schedule a meeting.




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