Though drug overdose episodes represent only 0.5% of total emergency department visits, there have been increased numbers and changes in specific agents of abuse. When treating ED patients, factors such as multi-drug abuse, age and gender of patients, and changes in purity of street drugs must be considered. Medication misuse and abuse by the elderly require particular attention in light of the increasing geriatric population. Health care practitioners must also be aware of geographic trends in drug abuse and designer drug manufacture. The most frequent substances involved in human exposures are those related to accidental exposure, while the most lethal involve those ingested intentionally.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)