Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse among Adolescents: The Role of Poison Control Centers


About the Webinar:

Unintentional poisoning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death among 15-24 year olds according to the CDC. Many of these unintentional poisonings are connected to prescription drugs. Among teens 15-19 years old, the death rate has almost doubled from 2000-2009. Prescription drug overdoses have played a part in that increase. What kinds of attitudes about prescription drugs do teens really have? What resources can communities use to fight the climbing trend of prescription drug overdoses and deaths? This webinar explores the local poison control center as a resource to prevent and treat drug overdoses among adolescent populations and introduces participants to the work poison centers are undertaking to educate teens and their families about prescription drug misuse.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the problem of adolescent prescription drug misuse on a national scale.
  • Describe the role of the poison center in the prevention and treatment of drug exposures.
  • Analyze one poison center’s approach to reducing prescription drug exposures and the importance of a community-based model of education.

About the Presenters:

Krista Osterthaler, MPH is the National Public Awareness and Outreach Manager for the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), a nonprofit, national organization that represents the nation’s 56 poison centers and the interests of poisoning prevention and treatment. Krista joined the poison center realm in 2011 as an educator with the National Capital Poison Center in Washington DC. Alexa Steverson, MA is the Poison Information & Education Coordinator for the Carolinas Poison Center located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Alexa is responsible for developing education curriculum and collateral, utilizing the poison center’s unique data to inform healthy behaviors, partnering with state-wide and community-wide injury prevention stakeholders, and promoting the free services of the state’s only poison center—all in an effort to reduce poisonings among North Carolinians.

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