Northern New England Poison Center

Poison ControlPoison Center in Northern New England

The Northern New England Poison Center (NNEPC) is a certified regional center serving Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The Center is located in Portland, Maine and manages 300 calls a day with medication being the number one poisoning. The NNEPC provides fast, accurate information and expert advice.

To reach the NNEPC, call 1-800-222-1222, toll-free 24 hours a day 7 days a week, confidential.

TTY and interpreter service available. Most poisonings are unintentional. They can be prevented. Program your cell phone today.

What is a poison?

A poison is any substance that can make you sick or cause harmful effects in the body. Poisons can also kill you. Poisonings can happen to people of all ages. Even though the poison center receives more calls concerning children less than 6 years; adults tend to have more serious health effects or deaths due to poisonings.

Who gets poisoned in Vermont?

In 2011, 5,580 Vermont exposure calls were reported to the NNEPC. Nearly half of reported Vermont poisonings involve children under the age of six. Exposures for teens account for 7% of the Vermont poisonings. Few people realize that adults get poisoned too. Over 17% of Vermont poisonings occur in 40 years and older. Older adults, 60 years and older account for 13% of Vermont poisoning calls. 

Pets get poisoned, too. Like children, dogs and cats are curious. They have the natural instinct to lick and chew. Many things that are not poisonous to humans can be harmful or fatal to animals. There were 400 animal calls to the NNEPC in 2011.

Poison Prevention Education Program

In addition to answering poison-related phone calls, the NNEPC has a Vermont educator with dedicated time for providing community education around general poison prevention tips, medication safety, drug abuse (i.e. prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, street drugs, current trends), inhalant abuse and environmental exposures. 

Contact: Gayle Finkelstein, MSRN Vermont Poison Prevention Educator 802-847-2393 gayle.finkelstein@vtmednet.org.

Vision

To be the leading poisoning prevention team by:

  • Implementing successful research-based programs
  • Building partnerships
  • Integrating with the public health system

Mission

The Northern New England Poison Center Prevention Program advances evidence-based poisoning prevention through collaboration, education, promotion, advocacy and expert guidance in order to decrease poison-related morbidity and mortality.

Questions and Answers About Poison Prevention

"I took my wife's heart medicine by mistake and can't get in touch with my doctor. What should I do?"

Medications account for more than half of all reported poisonings. NNEPC has specially trained nurses and pharmacists to handle Poison Center calls. For information on medication safety and to download or order the Medication: What You Need to Know brochure, visit the Northern New England Poison Center or for information on medicines, visit MedlinePlus.

"My family is having headaches and upset stomach since we turned the kerosene heater on. Could the heater cause us to be sick?"

For information on carbon monoxide, visit the Northern New England Poison Center

"I mixed two cleaners when cleaning the bathroom. The fumes are making it hard to breathe. What do I do?"

Visit the Northern New England Poison Center at  www.nnepc.org for poison information, poison prevention educational programs, live chat with the experts and to download or order poison prevention materials.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs

Medicines in My Home FDA Web page on safe use of over-the-counter medications at home.

Dxmstories - Dangers of Dextromethorphan (DXM) found in cough syrup.

Inhalants 

For inhalant use information and training for parents. Click here.

Household Products, Chemicals and Toxins, and Indoor Air Quality

Lead, Mercury, and Radon

Pesticides

Poison Control

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