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Teach Medicine Safety During National Poison Prevention Week

Poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. A vast majority of poisoning deaths are caused by both pharmaceutical and illicit drugs. The third week of March was proclaimed National Poison Prevention week by the President of the United States in 1962. This was done in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them.

Opioid analgesic pain relievers are involved in a substantial proportion of drug poisoning deaths. These include natural and semi-synthetic opioids like hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone; and other synthetic opioids like fentanyl and methadone. Potential access to these drugs by children is even greater with so many adults abusing these substances today. It takes only seconds for a child to get hold of something poisonous.

While poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States, many poisonings are preventable! Follow these tips from the CDC to help prevent poisonings:

  • Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. Misusing or abusing prescription or over-the-counter medications is not a "safe" alternative to illicit substance use.

  • Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, particularly prescription pain medications, to try to get faster or more powerful effects.

  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs.

  • Keep all prescription medicines (especially painkillers like hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone), over-the-counter medicines (like pain/fever relievers and cough/cold medicines), vitamins and herbals in a safe place that can only be reached by adults.

  • Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels for potential interactions with other medications or 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.

  • Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs. You can easily dispose of these medications at one of many dropboxes around Idaho Falls such as Idaho Falls Police Dept. and Walgreens Pharmacy in Ammon.

Source: CDC

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