NM Poison & Drug Information Center

MSC 09 5080
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 272-4261
Fax: (505) 272-5892

National Poison Prevention Week, March 16th - 22nd

Poison prevention saves lives!  That is why the United States Congress mandated National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) in 1961 (P.L. 87-319). 

National Poison Prevention Week takes place during the third week of March every year; thus NPPW 2014 will be held from March 16th through the 22nd.  This week is specially designated as a time to increase awareness about the dangers of poisons and to promote poison prevention. 

The New Mexico Poison Center will be coordinating activities statewide throughout the month of March in honor of NPPW. You don't want to miss out on these fun and exciting events! Here are a few ideas about how you can become involved individually, professionally or as a community:

Help us spread the word! Please know that any kind of support cannot be too big or too small. All contributions are greatly appreciated. If you do decide to take part in NPPW, please let the health educator know at jkakos@salud.unm.edu or 505-272-1364.

For more information about NPPW please visit www.poisonprevention.org or www.aapcc.org or http://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/news/march-16-22-2014-national-poison-prevention-week.


Friday, March 21st:  Spotlight on Prescription Painkillers and Synthetics

In New Mexico, poisonings are the leading cause of unintentional injury death and, among all drugs, prescription pain killers play a large role. Prescription drug misuse and abuse continues to be a major public health problem not just in New Mexico, but across the nation.

 New Mexico posted an age-adjusted drug poisoning death rate of 23.8 per 100,000 compared with the United States rate of 12.3 per 100,000 in 2010, ranking New Mexico the 2nd highest in the United States.1 Medications account for 57% of the substances involved with poisoning calls to the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center (NMPDIC), making them the most common poisoning substance class 

You may have heard the words, "Spice" or "Molly" a lot lately. These are a few of many names for the relatively new drugs to hit the street called, "synthetics." Hobby chemists slightly alter the chemical composition of an illicit drug, such as cocaine, so that they can circumvent legal prohibition by DEA scheduling; hence the name, "synthetics."

Therefore, synthetic drugs are technically legal until scheduled otherwise. However, with little human use experience the effects of synthetics are unpredictable and highly dangerous.

We need all New Mexicans to become involved with drug - related issues in order to make a difference. Find out you can help combat drug misuse and abuse below:

  • The FDA is calling prescription drug abuse an “epidemic.” Prescription painkillers are responsible for a lot of addiction and abuse. #preventpoison
  • Get rid of prescription painkillers when you are finished with them.  Don’t give a drug seeker the chance to find some in your home! #preventpoison:  Learn How
  • If you are currently using prescription painkillers, lock them up where only you can get to them. #preventpoison
  • Be aware of the dangers prescription drugs can pose.  Never change your dose without talking to your doctor first. #preventpoison
  • Using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription can be deadly, even the first time using them. #preventpoison
  • If you or someone you know is addicted to prescription drugs, get help NOW.  Talk to your doc about ways to reduce risk of overdose. #preventpoison
  • Prescription painkiller abuse does not draw boundaries.  This epidemic hits the young and old, men and women, and all income levels. #preventpoison
  • Learn more:  Medication Safety; Teen Tip Page and  Modern Highs.

1 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; MMWR December 7, 2012 / 61(48); 995: <http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6148a6.htm>; (4 March 2014).


Saturday, March 22nd:  Program Your Cell:  1-800-222-1222!

  • Help is just a phone call away! Put the Poison Help line number in and near your phone. 1-800-222-1222. #preventpoison
  • Questions? Not sure if it’s an emergency? When in doubt, check it out. Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222. #preventpoison
  • Poison centers provide free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. 1-800-222-1222 #preventpoison
  • English not your first language? No problem. The Poison Help line has translators for over 150 languages. Call 1-800-222-1222 #preventpoison

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