Medical Practice

Self-poisoning with Drugs: A Worsening Situation

Br Med J 1972; 4 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.4.5833.157 (Published 21 October 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;4:157
  1. A. J. Smith

    Abstract

    The incidence of self-poisoning with drugs has doubled in Sheffield in the past 10 years. It now causes almost 1 in 10 of all medical admissions and one in five of all medical emergencies; it is the second most common reason for emergency admission to medical beds.

    The average age of the patients has fallen; one in five has previously been admitted to hospital with self-poisoning. The drugs used are normally prescribed by a doctor and the types employed reflect national prescribing trends. It is estimated that over 70,000 self-poisoning cases may be admitted to hospitals in the United Kingdom each year.

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