“Educate before you medicate” is the theme of this year’s National Poison Prevention Week. Lauren Bul is with Minnesota Poison Control System…
“Over 60-percent of our calls last year were related to medications both prescription and over the counter. And we chose it in light of the overdose epidemic that’s plaguing the whole state and the nation.”
Minnesota Poison Control System’s 800 number is available 24/7:
“We can be called anytime — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it doesn’t have to be an emergency. So if anyone has questions about their medications, or accidentally took an extra dose — they can call the poison center and get help. So that would prevent the poisoning before it even happens.”
There were 572 drug-related overdoses in 2015. Bul says many of these deaths were due to prescription medications rather than illegal street drugs.
While much needs to be done to stop this epidemic, individuals can still make some simple changes. The Minnesota Poison Control System offers these tips for safe medication use, storage, and disposal:
- Take medications carefully by following label instructions and having your pharmacist or doctor check for potential interactions between prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines.
- Keep all medications up high and out of sight, preferably locked up.
- Do not share medications with friends or family members, even if they have been prescribed the same type of medication.
- Never take your medication in front of children, as they are likely to mimic.
- Properly dispose of medications. Contact your county government for disposal options.
- Educate yourself: Learn about poison prevention and Poison Center services. Take the new online training course available at training.mnpoison.org.
Full interview with Lauren Bul, Minnesota Poison Control System: