Prevent Poisoning and Drug Overdose

Every year, poison control centers receive millions of calls from people seeking medical help for poisoning. Poisons are substances that, in a high enough quantity, can cause illness, injury or death when ingested, inhaled, injected or otherwise taken into the body. Poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional death. The leading cause of poisoning is drug overdoses; other causes include inadvertent drug or chemical ingestion and exposure to environmental substances.

Opioid Overdoses

Acute opioid poisonings, also known as opioid overdoses, are at all all-time high. Preliminary 2022, estimates indicate that 100,105 people died from preventable drug overdoses – an increase of 797% since 1999. These deaths represent 92% of the total 108,490 drug overdose deaths in the United States, according to Injury Facts.

Many Americans have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis. Either they know someone who has an opioid use disorder, know someone who has died from an overdose or they have an opioid use disorder themselves. The National Safety Council is committed to ending this epidemic. Join us on our mission to save lives.

Drugs at Work

The opioid crisis impacts a workplace’s bottom line, safety and employee health and wellness.

Seventy-five percent of employers have been directly impacted by opioids in the workplace, according to an NSC poll. Employees who are prescribed prescription opioids may be at risk for opioid impairment in the workplace or developing an opioid use disorder. The workplace is a key environment for reaching employees, families and communities to help prevent further opioid misuse, addiction and overdose.

Minimizing opioids’ impact on the workplace is everyone’s job. Buy-in from leadership, effective policies and procedures, education and awareness, and compassion are all crucial. NSC resources are available for leaders, HR managers, safety professionals, supervisors and employees to minimize the impact, protect employees and keep workplaces safe.

Other Poisons in the Home

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

Be sure to keep the National Poison Control Center number, (800) 222-1222, in your cell phone contacts.

National Poison Prevention Week

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 activities are a great way to start a conversation at home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers information to help get you started.



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