Drug Overdose (cont.)
To prevent accidental overdoses, medications, even over-the-counter pain
relievers and vitamins, must be kept in a safe, secure place. Intentional overdoses are harder to prevent, unless the underlying problems are addressed. Unintentional, illicit drug overdose is a serious problem best solved by getting the person away from access to the illicit drug (see Drug Dependence and Abuse).
- People with certain mental illnesses need the help of family and friends to assist with medication therapy and to lend social support. Drug abusers also need this same support in order to stay clean and safe.
- Poison prevention and injury prevention in children is an important task for parents, grandparents, and others who take care of small children. Make your home safe so children do not have access
to medications. Accidental poisoning is a leading cause of death in children
from the age of 6 months to 5 years.
- Make sure elderly people understand how to take their medication and can recognize one medicine from another. It may be safest to provide some sort of supervision for seniors in taking medication. Pills can be sorted into small containers and labeled to show the time they are to be taken. Some containers come with clocks that have audible alarms as a reminder to take medications at specific times. Other containers can be filled a week at a time.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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