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Substances of Abuse

Many calls concerning poisoning in Kansas involve drugs of abuse, whether misused prescription medication, illegal drugs or a combination of both. Combining multiple drugs increases the risk of serious poisoning and death as well. Some of the most commonly misused or abused substances are described below.

  • Alcohol poisoning is caused by drinking too much alcohol in a short time period. Learn how to prevent alcohol poisoning from the Kansas Poison Center.
    Learn more about Alcohol Poisoning
  • Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the Cannabis plant. Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other drugs made from the same plant.
    Learn more about Cannabis (Marijuana)
  • Inhalants are substances that people inhale, or breath in, to get high. The term inhalants refers to the various substances that people typically misuse only by inhaling them. They contain dangerous substances that have psychoactive, or mind-altering, properties when they are inhaled. Using inhalants to try to get high, even once, can be very harmful and can even lead to death.
    Learn more about Inhalants
  • Tobacco and vaping devices contain nicotine, an ingredient that can lead to addiction. Learn more about the health impacts of tobacco and nicotine use.
    Learn more about Nicotine & Vaping
  • Opioids are the single most common drug involved in fatal poisonings. This class includes both illegal and legal drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine and many others.
    Learn more about Opioids
  • Even though over-the-counter (OTC) medicines don’t require a prescription, they can still be dangerous. See safety tips from the Kansas Poison Center.
    Learn more about Over-the-Counter Medicine Abuse
  • Prescription medicines can be helpful in treating many illnesses when used as directed. But when these medicines are used by the wrong person or in the wrong way, they can have serious consequences.
    Learn more about Prescription Medicine Abuse