Caron in Pennsylvania: 800-854-6023
Caron Renaissance in Florida: 800-221-6500
Caron Ocean Drive in Florida: 800-221-1170
Contact Us
Contact
Menu

Drug Poisoning Facts and Prevention Tips

Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs. Learn more about drug poisoning and the ways it can be prevented.

Close
1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:


2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old


graduated high school

3 Condition Information
Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.

Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs. When abused, prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs can be addictive and can put abusers at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose—especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol. Learn more about drug poisoning and the ways it can be prevented.

General Poisoning Facts

  • Poisonings cause more than 35,000 deaths each year.
  • Young people are the most likely to be poisoned, with children under the age of six accounting for 50% of all poison exposures.
  • 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths occur among people over the age of 20.
  • Top 5 causes of poisoning:
    • Painkillers
    • Cosmetics/personal products
    • Foreign bodies, toys, other objects
    • Sedatives, hypnotics, and antipsychotics medicine
    • Household cleaning products
    • Drug-related poisonings cause nearly 700,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms each year.

Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Facts

  • The drug overdose death rate has more than doubled from 1999 through 2013.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs.
  • Among children under age 6, pharmaceuticals account for about 40% of all exposures reported to poison centers.
  • Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2012. Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • When abused, prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs can be addictive and put abusers at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose—especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol.
  • In 2012, there were 41,502 deaths due to drug poisoning (often referred to as drug-overdose deaths) in the United States, of which 16,007 involved opioid analgesics and 5,925 involved heroin. Click here to learn more about the heroin epidemic.
  • In 2013, 35,663 (81.1%) of the 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States were unintentional, 5,432 (12.4%) were of suicidal intent, and 2,801 (6.4%) were of undetermined intent.
  • Between 2004 and 2005, an estimated 71,000 children (18 or younger) were seen in Emergency Departments each year because of medication overdose (excluding self-harm, abuse, and recreational drug use).

Poison Prevention Tips

  • Taking pills that are expired is very dangerous.
  • The best way to dispose of unwanted medicines is to ask your local pharmacist or Poison Control Center about take-back locations in your area for safe disposal.
  • Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels. Some medicines cannot be taken safely when you take other medicines or drink alcohol.
  • Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
  • Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
  • Parents need to be aware that one of the biggest dangers in their house is their medicine cabinet.
  • Many people still do not realize the dangers of some prescription drugs – especially if they are prescribed to the person originally by a doctor.
  • Always ask your doctor about the potential side-effects of a medication, including how it may interact with any medications you are currently talking.
Sources: HRSA, NIDA, CDC