Dr. Rebecca Stelter, Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, and Dr. Allison Schmidt from innovation Research & Training (iRT) travelled to Washington DC to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) and to present a poster titled, “Using the Strategic Prevention Framework to Prevent Drugged Driving.” SPR is an international organization of researchers dedicated to advancing scientific investigation of the prevention of social, physical, and mental health issues. The 2018 meeting was the organization’s 26th Annual meeting, gathering over 800 researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners from around the world.

The poster presentation detailed the research conducted by researchers from iRT in the field of drugged driving prevention. Drs. Stelter, Kupersmidt, and Schmidt conducted a national survey of substance abuse and highway safety professionals’ needs related to preventing drugged driving, and then incorporated their findings with existing research to develop two web-based programs to teach professionals essential skills to prevent drugged driving in their communities.

To evaluate the effectiveness of their trainings, the researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial with PDF resources with equivalent information as the control materials. Prevention professionals were recruited from across the United States and were randomly assigned to see either the iRT-developed trainings, or the PDF resources. Researchers assessed participants’ beliefs, intentions, and actions related to drugged driving prevention. The researchers also solicited feedback about satisfaction with the assigned resources in order to improve the trainings.

There is a strong need for training specifically in drugged driving prevention among professionals, and many prevention professionals have expressed high interest in learning more about this field. Drugged driving is distinct from other substance use issues, and requires a nuance approach to contend with in an effective way.

To learn more about the problem of drugged driving and the training courses developed by iRT, visit the druggeddrivingresources.com website. To find out more about the poster presentation, visit the abstract on the SPR website here. For more information about the SPR Annual Meeting 2018, visit their website.