Poison Centers in every state, territory and jurisdiction detect, prevent and treat a broad range of poison and toxin-related emergencies, and provide every American access to 24/7, 365 expert help
As part of its growing public health work across the country, the American Association of Poison Control Centers is modernizing its brand and has changed its name to America’s Poison Centers to reflect the full range of the Association’s services. This includes the life-saving, local emergency services that its 55 poison center members provide to every American, via a free, confidential Poison Help line 1-800-222-1222 and its website PoisonHelp.org. The organization also operates the nation’s only near-real time data system that integrates the poisoning public health data from across the nation’s 55 centers.
Much like a cardiologist specializes in heart health, Poison Centers specialize in poisonings, overdoses and toxins. The experts staffing the Poison Help line are healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and physicians.
Most Americans may know Poison Centers help with pediatric-related poison emergencies – for example, a parent calling the help line when their child ingests a harmful substance. However, there are a wide variety of situations where a poison help line expert can provide advice about a wide range of issues for people of all ages: medication interactions, food poisoning, insect exposures, snake bites, workplace or home chemical hazards, drug overdoses and any toxin-related exposure.
“Many people aren’t aware of the variety of substances that can cause serious illness or even death,” said Carol DesLauriers, a registered pharmacist who serves as both the board president for America’s Poison Centers and the director of the Illinois Poison Center. “We know accidents and the unexpected happen every day. Please save 800-222-1222 in your contacts so you have the number handy in the event of an emergency. A call can be the difference between life and death, and our trained experts are here to provide emergency medical advice and education to healthcare providers and the public, 24/7.”
Visitors to PoisonHelp.org will now find expanded first aid and education resources, and the latest data and trending topics in poison exposures. Additionally, the Get Help tool provides real-time advice and actionable next steps if you have been exposed to a potentially toxic product, poison or medication.
Poison Centers Aid National Health Emergency Response
In addition to providing emergency resources and support, Poison Centers are on the front lines responding to many of the country’s national public health issues, including:
- Covid-19: Poison Centers managed more than 1.2 million inquiries directly related to Covid-19 in 2020-2021. Poison center data was used by public health partners to issue public health warning on alternative Covid-19 treatments.
- The Opioid crisis: Between 2019 and 2021 Poison Centers reported a 39 percent increase in severe outcomes and deaths reported from illicit and pharmaceutical opioid overdose cases.
- Cannabis: As cannabis products become more accessible and legally available in many states, Poison Centers reported a 45 percent increase in cases involving children under six between 2020 and 2021, resulting in increased healthcare facility utilization and risk for severe illness.
- E-cigarettes: With the proliferation of e-cigarette use, exposures to concentrated nicotine liquids has risen, resulting in increased risk of severe poisoning, especially in children and teens.
All cases that come into a local poison center are synced into America’s Poison Centers’ poisoning surveillance system. The National Poison Data System™ (NPDS) detects trends in toxin-related exposures and information requests, providing actionable, quality, real-time data to emergency medical teams, public health officials and others.
“As we continue to enhance our capabilities and impact for the nation, the mission of our Centers remains the same: to prevent poison and toxin-related injuries in America with 24x7 service to the public and near- real time surveillance data,” said Richard Fogelson, CEO of America’s Poison Centers. “We monitor and respond to emerging public health issues, ensure Poison Centers across the country are accredited to meet the highest standards in toxicology education, and maintain the latest and most accurate data for use by government agencies, research institutions, healthcare providers and industry.”
About America’s Poison Centers
America’s Poison Centers represents 55 poison centers across the country. We are united in our cause to prevent every poison- and toxin-related health emergency in America. Through our national Poison Help line (800-222-1222) and website PoisonHelp.org, we provide all Americans expert advice from nationally accredited medical specialists about potential drug interactions, poison ingestions and exposure to toxins such as insects or chemicals — available 24/7/365, at no cost. Together, America’s Poison Centers ensure a national quality standard for the detection, prevention and treatment of toxin-related health emergencies.
America’s Poison Centers