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Drug-Related Poisoning The Cause For Nearly 700,000 Emergency Department Visits a Year, According to New Research
Date:3/16/2011

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New visits for drug-related poisoning in the United States continue to rise; therefore, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Association of Poison Control Centers are raising awareness about the dangers of drug poisoning as part of Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26).   In addition, ACEP sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to continue allocating more than $29 million in funding for the 57 poison control centers that serve the nation 24 hours per day, year-round.

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"People are abusing prescription drugs and over-the counter drugs, and it's a serious and growing problem," said Dr. Sandra Schneider, president of ACEP.  "Very young children had the highest rate of unintentional drug poisoning, which is a wake-up call for parents to make sure their medicines are out of reach."

Drug-related poisoning deaths are second only to motor vehicle crashes among the leading causes of injury death, according to the study, which was published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

"Emergency physicians and poison centers are natural partners in reducing the tragic toll of poisoning in the United States," said Dr. Richard Dart, President of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. "Nearly 75 percent of all poison exposures treated by poison centers can be handled at home. Poison center save over $7 for every $1 spent in state and federal funding.  We are happy to partner with ACEP to increase outreach on this very pressing public health issue."

Facts about Drug Poisoning:

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SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians
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