Alcohol and Psychoactive Drugs in Road Traffic Fatalities within Northern District of Amman

Abdul Qader H. Battah, Momen S. Al-Hadidi, Emad M. Abdullat, Kamal A. Hadidi


Objective: Several studies have demonstrated that alcohol and psychoactive drugs consumption are important risk factors underlying fatal accidents. This paper presents a prospective and a pilot study for toxicological findings in road traffic accident fatality victims within the northern district of Amman in order to have an overall picture of the occurrence of these substances in the victims in Jordan.

Method: Over a two-year period (2004-2005), 400 autopsies were conducted at Jordan University Hospital in which 94 (23.5%) were road traffic accident fatality victims. Biological specimens from these victims were collected. Toxicology screens for psychoactive drugs and alcohol were conducted on these specimens and the results were analyzed according to age, sex, and victim’s status.

Results: The data showed that ethanol and psychoactive drugs were positive in 72.3%, n = 68 and for ethanol alone 23.4%, n = 22. The majority of victims were the driver (n = 29) and the highest percentage of positive findings occurred among them (20.2%, n=19). Males in the age group 19-29 were mostly involved (35.7%). Detected psychoactive drugs were benzodiazepines, opioids, barbiturates and anti-depressants. None of the collected specimens were positive for illicit cocaine, amphetamines, or cannabis.

Conclusions: The results of this study documented the presence of alcohol and psychoactive drugs in road traffic accident victims which could have some association between the uses of these substances and the accident involvement. However, due to some limitations, conclusions require further data collections, cooperation with related parties in Jordan, and utilizing simple and extended toxicological screens.


RTA, Alcohol, Psychoactive drugs, Jordan, Fatality

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