With the advancement of science and medicine comes the opportunity to alleviate pain and live a better quality of life. Unfortunately, having more access to medications has also created a dilemma.
In 2005, more than 22,400 Americans died from an unintentional drug overdose of over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs. The majority of these deaths are occuring in adults and are occuring from an overdose of opioid analgesics, or painkillers.
Most people believe that deaths from poisoning are a childhood phenomenon. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, children age 5 and under make up 51% of poison center calls, but they represent fewer than 2% of deaths from poisoning. The recent increase in poisoning deaths is seen in adults and most are a result of unintentional drug overdose.
Unfortunately, most Americans do not realize the risks invoved with taking medications, which include:
To keep your employees safe, look to community relationships, resources for education and provide company support.
CDC Fact Sheet Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S.
Learn more about side effects and special drug precautions at Medline Plus
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