Associations between drug use and sensation seeking behaviour among drivers in Norway



Sensation seeking is associated with drug use and risky driving. The aim of this study was to investigate if sensation seeking behavior as measured with the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale 4 (BSSS-4) was associated with use of psychoactive substances among drivers in Norway.


Drivers were included in two roadside surveys: one in the north (September 2014 – October 2015) and the other in the south-east of Norway (April 2016 – April 2017). Oral fluid was analyzed for alcohol and psychoactive drugs, and data on sex, age and time of participation were recorded. Participants filled in the BSSS-4 questionnaire.


A total of 8053 drivers were included, of which 32 % were women and 62 % were under 40 years. The prevalence of alcohol was 0.3 %, stimulating substances 0.6 %, THC 1.4 % and benzodiazepines 2.0 %. Associations were found between the use of THC or benzodiazepines and a low score on the “thrill and adventure seeking” domain of the BSSS-4 (OR = 1.723, 95% C.I. = 1.001- 2.966, p = 0.05). Associations were found between the use of stimulants and the highest scores on the “experience seeking” (OR = 2.085, 95% C.I. = 1.084-4.009, p = 0.028) and “disinhibition” (OR = 4.791, 95% C.I. =1.748-13.135, p = 0.002) domains of the BSSS-4.


A high degree of sensation seeking was found among drivers who had used stimulating drugs, in contrast to drives who had used THC and benzodiazepines who showed a low degree of sensation seeking.



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