Awareness about unintentional drug poisoning during the Poison Prevention Week, from March 20 to 26, is being built up in the US.
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Association of Poison Control Centers are involved in this campaign. In fact, the ACEP has communicated with Congress already about the continued need to allocate $29 million to fund 57 poison centers that would be operational 24 hours a day, throughout the year.
Drug-related poisoning are the second leading cause of injury death. 708,318 emergency department visits resulting from unintentional drug poisoning have been reported in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children often fall victim to cosmetics, cleaning products and over-the-counter medications.
And Sandra Schneider, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP comments that people often abuse prescription drugs and over-the counter drugs. "We all need to work together, take responsibility, and use common sense to protect people from drug poisoning," she says.
Official advise certain common sense-strategies to minimize the danger. Keeping all chemicals and medicines out of reach; leaving products in their original containers, so that mistakes are not made; keeping products in use within sight; immediately contacting health authorities for help; all these strategies will help to reduce the number of fatalities of drug poisoning.
Different places in the US like Maryland and Alaska are carrying out their programs to build awareness of this preventable health danger.