Dr. Guohua Li publishes new study on prescription opioids and fatal car crashes

Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology and founding Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, has completed a study yielding epidemiological evidence that use of prescription opioids by drivers may double their risk of initiating a fatal two-car crash.  The study, by Dr. Li and his colleague at the Mailman School of Public Health, Stanford Chihuri, MPH, was published in the online journal JAMA Network Open, and has been widely discussed in the national media.  The impaired drivers’ most frequent error was a failure to stay in lane. The study emphasizes that prescribers should deliberately and unambiguously caution patients about the risks of driving while taking opioid medications.  


The epidemiology of motor vehicle accidents and the use of alcohol and other drugs is a research interest of Dr. Li, who offered commentary to the New York Times on a high-fatality limousine crash that made headlines in October.

More recently Dr. Li’s research was quoted in Time.com for his analysis on the reported decline in opioid overdose deaths.