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Accession Number PB2013-108760
Title Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2010: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits.
Publication Date 2012
Media Count 183p
Personal Author N/A
Abstract This publication presents national estimates of drug-related visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) for the calendar year 2010, based on data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Also presented are comparisons of 2010 estimates with those for 2004, 2008, and 2009. DAWN is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related ED visits for the Nation and for selected metropolitan areas. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the agency responsible for DAWN. SAMHSA is required to collect data on drug-related ED visits under section 505 of the Public Health Service Act. DAWN relies on a nationally representative sample of general, non-Federal hospitals operating 24-hour EDs, with oversampling of hospitals in selected metropolitan areas. In each participating hospital, ED medical records are reviewed retrospectively to find the ED visits that involved recent drug use. All types of drugsillegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals (e.g., dietary supplements, cough medicine), and substances inhaled for their psychoactive effects are included. Alcohol is considered an illicit drug when consumed by patients aged 20 or younger. For patients aged 21 or older, though, alcohol is reported only when it is used in conjunction with other drugs. Marked findings of this report are (a) a 94 percent increase in the number of drug-related ED visits overall between 2004 and 2010, and (b) large increases in the involvement of a wide range of pharmaceuticals (e.g., prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, supplements) over that period. It is likely that there are multiple causes contributing to these increases. Some portion of these increases may be associated with the greater number of prescriptions being written and with more people taking multiple prescription drugs, often in combination with over-the-counter preparations, as part of their long-term medical care. The greater availability of prescription drugs also facilitates their diversion for intentional misuse as well as accidental ingestion. It is beyond the scope of this report, though, to explore more fully the causes behind the growing numbers of ED visits involving pharmaceuticals, and further analysis is needed.
Keywords Adverse effects
Alcohol abuse
Attempted suicide
Drug abuse
Emergency medical services
Emergency rooms
Illicit drugs
Prescription drugs
Statistical data
Substance abuse

Source Agency Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
NTIS Subject Category 57E - Clinical Medicine
44C - Community & Population Characteristics
92C - Social Concerns
57Q - Pharmacology & Pharmacological Chemistry
57U - Public Health & Industrial Medicine
44T - Data & Information Systems
Corporate Author Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1318
Contract Number HHSS28320070002I

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