Pre ent Poisoning Pre ent Poisoning
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2005, 65 people died every day from unintentional poisoning – and the numbers of deaths has been increasing. Arm yourself with information that can reduce your- or a loved one’s- risk of unintentional overdose and possibly save a life.

What You Should Know

• In 2005, a total of 23,618 people in the United States died from unintentional poisoning.

• In 2006, 1,900 people a day—a total of 703,700— were seen in emergency departments every day after a poisoning incident.

• Unintentional poisoning deaths are on the rise. Poisoning death rates in the United States increased by 62.5% from 1999–2004.

• 95% of poisoning deaths are a result of drug poisoning – and more than half of them are due to prescription drugs.

• Poisoning is not just a childhood problem. It affects adolescents and adults in increasing numbers.

What You Can Do

Remember, you can reach the National Poison Control Centers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to report a poisoning incident and get help at
Keep this number on all home phones and program into your cell phone. In any emergency, dial 911.

Follow tips that can keep you and others safe from unintentional poisoning, including:

• Follow directions on labels when you give or take medicines. Some medicines cannot be taken safely with other medications or with alcohol.

• Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.

• Never share or sell your prescription drugs.

• Keep any opioid pain medications, such as methadone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, in a safe place only reachable by people who take or give them.

• Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit disorder, or ADD.

• Follow federal guidelines for disposal of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.