Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2017 Aug;55(7):652-658. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2017.1309050.

Analysis of intentional drug poisonings using Ohio Poison Control Center Data, 2002-2014.

Pringle K1,2, Caupp S1,2, Shi J1,2, Wheeler KK1,2, Spiller HA3, Casavant MJ1,3,4, Xiang H1,2,4.

1 Center for Injury Research and Policy , The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital , Columbus , OH , USA.
2 Center for Pediatric Trauma Research , The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital , Columbus , OH , USA.
3 Central Ohio Poison Center , Columbus , OH , USA.
4 The Ohio State University College of Medicine , Columbus , OH , USA.




Pharmaceutical drug poisonings, especially those that are intentional, are a serious problem for adolescents and young adults. Poison control center data is a viable tool to track intentional drug poisonings in near real-time.


To determine intentional drug poisoning rates among adolescents and young adults in Ohio using poison control center data.


We analyzed data from 2002 to 2014 obtained by Ohio‘s three poison control centers. Inclusion variables were calls made to the centers that had appropriate subject age (10-29 years old), subject sex, involved substance (all drug classes), and medical outcome (no effect, minor effect, moderate effect, major effect, and death). Intentional drug poisoning reports were also separated into subgroups to compare suspected suicide reports to misuse and abuse reports. Finally, resident population estimates were used to generate 2014 intentional drug poisoning rates for each county in Ohio.


The most common age group for intentional drug poisonings was 18-24. Females reported more suspected suicide drug poisonings while males reported more misuse/abuse drug poisonings. The most reported drug class across all ages was analgesics. Of the 88 counties in Ohio, Hamilton, Williams, Washington, and Guernsey counties had the highest rates of intentional drug poisonings.


The high report rate of suspected suicides and analgesic class drugs demonstrates the need for preventative measures for adolescents and young adults in Ohio. Any interventions, along with legislative changes, will need to take place in our local communities.


Intentional drug poisoning; Ohio; adolescent; poison control center

PMID: 28393553