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Oh, What A Year It’s Been!

Posted: October 18th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

A Year of Regulatory Success for Poison Centers

As an administrator of the Illinois Poison Center, this has been a frustrating year as the program continues to have severe financial challenges.  In 2011, the IPC suffered a $400,000 loss of funding this year on top of a $600,000 funding decrease in 2009-2010. To make up the loss, the IPC has closed 2 additional positions (on top of the 5 positions terminated/closed in 2009) and the remaining full time staff was reduced to 90% time.  Difficult times indeed.

On the other hand, as a medical toxicologist committed to decreasing the incidence of exposure to hazardous substances, this has been a fabulous year for poison centers across the nation.  In no previous time has the national poison center network had such a wide impact on the regulation of emerging toxic public health threats. Previous IPC blogs have shown the types of emerging public health threats noted by poison centers. Read more »


Bath Salts: A Lesson in Designer Drugs

Posted: July 26th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

The anti-drug laws in the U.S. define a drug as illicit by its structure, and not necessary by the effects the drug causes.  “Designer drug” is a term used to describe drugs that are created and/or marketed to get around existing drug laws.  Most commonly, this is accomplished by modifying the molecular structure of an illegal drug to create another similar, yet subtly different structure that has similar effects but is not defined as illegal. Read more »