Safe USe

Accidental Overdose

Recognizing and responding to an overdose can help save a life. Learn more here.

With the proper care and knowledge, accidental overdoses can be avoided.

Take the proper precautions:

Safe storage at home and when you travel is crucial. Lock your medicine in a secure spot so children can’t get into it.

Safe disposal is also important. Many children will stumble upon unused medicine by simply looking in the trash.

Talk to your kids about your medicine. Explain why you take it, and why they should not. Tell them it’s not candy.

Monitor your medicine. Know if some is missing.

Listen for the click of the safety cap when you close a bottle of medication

Ask houseguests to keep their medicine out of sight. Ask family members to secure their medicine before your children visit them.

Call Oregon Poison Center Helpline in case of an emergency:

Accidental overdoses can also occur when adults, often with medical conditions that involve memory loss or impaired judgment, take their medications more often than required. Having a chart or calendar for each daily dose is one way to record that a day’s dosage has been met. Another is to have a caregiver or trusted home companion administer each day’s dosage, or have a calendar pill box for each day’s required medicines.


  • In 2013 more than 46 Americans died each day from overdosing on prescription pain relievers

  • More than 70,000 children are hospitalized each year due to accidental overdoses. Nearly half of those cases were caused by a small number of specific drugs including prescription painkillers Bupreorphine, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone.