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New PSA asks families to lock up potentially harmful poisons

November 1, 2017

When thinking of dangerous household poisons, your first thoughts might be of the old “Mr. Yuck” stickers and cleaning products under the kitchen sink. However, if taken improperly, medications and alcohol can also potentially act as lethal poisons.

Accidental poisoning from prescription medications, especially opioids, has been on the rise in Alaska. These harmful poisons are having a devastating impact in our Native community. From 2002-2011, all types of prescription and illicit drugs accounted for 51 percent of poisoning deaths for Alaska Native people; alcohol by itself accounted for 41 percent. The 2014-2015 drug poisoning (illicit and prescription) rate among Alaska Native people was 57 percent higher than the 2012-13 rate.

To help curb these troubling trends, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Injury Prevention Program, supported by the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation and the ANTHC Behavioral Health Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative, worked with ANTHC Marketing and Channel Films to create a poison prevention public service announcement:

To reduce the risks of poisoning, keep medications and alcohol in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet. Do not share medicine with friends or take drugs that are not prescribed to you. Monitor and count pills, so you are aware if any are missing. Some communities and pharmacies have resources to safely dispose of unused medication. If you are prescribed medication, ask your provider about your community’s drug take-back programs.

If you are concerned you or someone you know may be misusing prescription opioids or alcohol, help is available.  Get immediate help from a local poison expert by calling the Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Visit the Alaska Poison Control System website: Contact ANTHC’s Substance Abuse and Prevention at (907) 729-3547 or email

Learn more about ANTHC Injury Prevention at:

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