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North Carolina Poisoning Statistics

From 2013-2017, 5,922 North Carolinians died due to unintentional opioid-involved poisonings.¹

  • In 2016-2017, NC Poison Control answered 151,405 calls from the public and from healthcare providers across the state.
  • Of those calls, 41,621 were from doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers who needed assistance with the diagnosis, management, and treatment of poisoned patients.
  • Over 2/3 of the people who contact us (67%) are managed right at the site of the call, which is usually at home.
  • Pain relievers were the most commonly called about drug substance (24,578 calls).
  • Household cleaners were the most commonly called about non-drug substance (11,748 calls).

For more detailed North Carolina poisoning statistics, view the NC Poison Control 2016/2017 Biennial Report.

Click below to see previous biennial reports:

National Poisoning Statistics

In the United States, poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death, and nearly 9 out of 10 of poisoning deaths are caused by drugs.²  See an injury grid highlighting the top causes of unintentional injury death.

  • In the United States, a poison control center answers a call about a suspected or actual poisoning every 14 seconds.³
  • In 2016, U.S. poison control centers received over 2.1 million poison exposure calls, over 490,000 information calls, and over 54,000 animal exposure calls
  • The death rate nationwide due to unintentional poisonings is 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population.4
  • Although children under the age of 6 were involved in about half of poisoning exposures in 2016, they comprised only 1.7% of poisoning deaths. Most (66.9%) of deaths occurred among 20-59 year olds.³
  • Cosmetics and personal care products were the most frequently involved substances in pediatric (5 years and younger) poisoning exposures in 2016.³
  • Pain relievers were the most frequently involved substances in poisoning exposures overall in 2016.³

For more detailed national poisoning statistics, view the 2016 American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System's Annual Report.


Opioid-Involved Poisonings Fact Sheet; NC Dept. of Health & Human Services, Nov. 2018

2 NCHS Data Brief, No.81, Dec. 2011

3 2016 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS)

4 CDC FactStats: Accidents or Unintentional Injuries