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Prescription Drug Overdose Leading Cause of Poisoning Deaths

  • For the past two decades, the U.S. has been in the throes of an unprecedented opioid epidemic.

    • More than 22,000 people die every year from prescription painkillers – about 60 people every day
    • Drug overdose is the leading cause of unintentional death, surpassing even motor vehicle crashes
    • A report issued in 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 30% year-over-year increase in opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms

    Poison Prevention Week is March 18-24

    National Poison Prevention Week, the third week of March each year, focuses on the danger of drugs and other poisons and how to keep your family safe. Observed for more than 50 years, National Poison Prevention Week is a great time to start a conversation at your home.

    The week is observed March 18-24, 2018. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services information and resources to raise awareness of poison prevention.

    Prescription Drug Overdose

    The most common poisoning is from prescription drugs – particularly opioid pain medication. Every day, 60 people die from opioids. They become quickly addicted without realizing what's happening. The drugs are overprescribed by doctors, shared among family members and stolen from medicine cabinets.

    Children are misusing prescription drugs at an alarming rate, and even over-the-counter medications, like cold medicines and sleeping aids, can be dangerous.

    This epidemic is a major initiative of the National Safety Council. Start here to learn what we're doing to end it and how you can help – and be sure to keep the National Poison Control Center number, (800) 222-1222, on your phone.

    Other Poisons in the Home

    More than 90% of all poisonings happen at home. Familiarize yourself with the dangers that lurk there:

  • Free Opioid Warn-me Labels

    ​Warn-me labels for insurance cards let medical professionals know you want to talk about opioids, their risks and alternatives.

    Order Today

Honor Loved Ones Lost to the Opioid Epidemic

We’re losing far too many people to the opioid epidemic. Honor your lost loved one by adding their name to this map.

Go to the Map

National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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