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Poisoning Prevention Basics

Why is poisoning prevention important?

Poisonings, including drug poisoning, is the leading mechanism – without regard to intent – of fatal injuries among Hawaii residents over the 5-year period 2007-2011. The number of drug poisonings in Hawaii has increased from 83 in 1999 to 187 in 2011, with an annual average of 163 deaths over the 2007-2011 period.

A Public Health Crisis Continues -Drug Overdose Deaths among Hawaii residents,1999‐2014.

Hawaii Poison Hotline & Suicide Crisis Line of Hawaii

The Hawaii Poison Hotline is part of a national poison prevention network. The hotline number connects you directly to specially trained pharmacists and nurses to help manage poison exposure and answer poison related questions. The hotline can help you identify unknown pills and medicines to prevent their improper use. Health care providers can also call the hotline for expertise in handling severe overdoses. It is accessible from anywhere within the United States and operates 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week with free, confidential services.

Hawai’i Poison Hotline

  • 1-800-222-1222

Hawaii Poison Hotline Logo

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide Crisis Line of Hawaii,

  • Oahu: 808-832-3100
  • Neighbor Islands: 1-800-753-6879

Hawaii Poison Hotline Logo

Children's poster with tween reaching for a bottle marked 'poison'. Caption: Children act fast. So do Poisons.

Poster by Rachelle Lariba, 1st prizewinner of the National Poison Prevention Poster Contest 6th-8th Grade Division

Common Questions

Q: What to do if a poisoning occurs?

Answer: Follow these steps when you suspect a poison has occurred.

  • Remain calm
  • Call 9-1-1 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, call Hawaii’s Poison Hotline Number 1-800-222-1222.
  • Try to have this information ready and stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.
    • the victim’s age and weight
    • the container or bottle of the poison if available
    • the time of the poison exposure
    • the address where the poisoning occurred

Q: What can I do to prevent poisonings?

Answer: Keep yourself and others safe from unintentional poisoning. Unintentional poisoning occurs when a person takes or gives too much of a substance without meaning to cause harm. For more information on how you can prevent poisonings go to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

Q: What is considered a poison?

Answer: Any product or substance, including medications, can be harmful if it is used in the wrong way, by the wrong person, or in the wrong amount. A poisoning can occur from that substance by eating it, drinking it, breathing it, injecting it, getting it on the skin, or getting it in the eyes.

Q: What are the most common causes of poisoning in Hawaii?

Answer: The leading causes of “Unintentional Nonfatal Poisonings” among Hawai`i residents are listed in order below:

Leading Causes of Unintentional Nonfatal Poisonings among Hawaii Residents (2008-2012)

table of leading causes of unintentional nonfatal poisonings

Source: Hawaii Health Information Corporation, Hospital Records from 2008-2012

Poisoning Prevention Details

Data

Please refer to the updated 2008-2012 summary on poisoning  (PDF 16 KB) for more detail.

For the full chapter on poisoning (PDF 656 KB) refer to the Databook (Injuries in Hawaii 2007-2011)

The Hawaii Poison Hotline is part of a national poison prevention network. The hotline number connects you directly to specially trained pharmacists and nurses to help manage poison exposure and answer poison related questions. The 2013 Hawaii Annual Report (PDF 265KB) summarizes the latest Hawaii Poison Hotline findings from the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center (RMPDC).

2013 Poison Prevention Hotline Annual Report - COVER

Hawaii Drug Overdose Death Special Emphasis Report – 1999-2014

hawaii-drug-overdose-deaths-among-hawaii-residents-1999-2014-cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strategy

Reduce inappropriate and illegal prescribing of prescription drugs.

Projects

Hawaii Prescription Drug Overdose: Data Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) – grant

Hawaii Prescription Drug Overdose: Data Driven Prevention Initiative DDPI

  • Strategy 1. Develop prescription drug and heroin abuse prevention plan
  • Strategy 2 -Develop partnerships
  • Strategy 3 -Enhance surveillance of prescription drug and heroin abuse and overdose
  • Strategy 4 –Enhance access and application of PDMP data
  • Strategy 5 –Enhance county access and application of data

 

Community Collaboration

The Injury Prevention and Control Section currently collaborates with the Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety (DPS), and other partners to support policies and practices aimed at reducing abuse and misuse of prescription drugs.

Resources and Links

National

The CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Prescription Painkiller Overdoses

Preventing prescription painkiller overdoses is one of the Injury Center’s focus areas. CDC’s Injury Center is committed to saving lives, protecting people, and lowering the health and societal costs of prescription painkiller overdoses and misuse.