Drug Overdose (cont.)
Self-Care at Home
Home care should not be done without first consulting a doctor or poison expert.
- For some accidental drug overdoses, the local poison control center may recommend home therapy and observation. Because of the potential for problems after some overdoses, syrup of ipecac or other therapies should not be given unless directed by a medical professional.
- Most people have telephone access to a local poison control center. Locate the closest one to you through the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
- Anyone who has small children at home should have the "poison line" telephone number readily available near the telephone.
- People who take a drug overdose in an attempt to harm
themselves generally require psychiatric intervention in addition to poison management. People who overdose for this purpose must be taken to a hospital's Emergency Department, even if their overdose seems trivial. These people are at risk for eventually achieving a successful suicide. The sooner you intervene, the better the success of avoiding suicide.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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