Most of us will never use the majority of free service numbers that are out there. The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, prayer hotlines, Santa's hotline and even the Northern Colorado Weather Info line. However, there are certain numbers you know to call in certain situations and you expect them to answer.

Since we were young we were taught to call 911 in the case of an emergency and that you could call Poison Control for potentially hazardous exposures and ingestions, to figure out if it was an emergency.

Our family unfortunately had to make one of these calls a few weeks ago. We found ourselves calling Poison Control to know if medical attention was needed or not. In my mind calling them would be like calling 911. Instead, my husband was on hold for 20 minutes. Our situation was not worsening, but we still had questions. So, he hung up and called 911. They said they could not assist with our situation and that we would need to call Poison Control. He hung up and called Poison Control again. After about 15 minutes of being on hold again, he gave up.

Who is Colorado Poison Control?

Turns out Poison Control is staffed by paid individuals and they are assigned to regions and areas. In Colorado, it's the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Safety (RMPDS) that answers calls to Poison Control.

I called RMPDS to let them know about our experience and I was assured that it was a very unusual situation we experienced. I sure hope so. The woman I spoke with said there are people like her who field the calls and then they pass them along to the nurses on duty.

What Calls Does Poison Control Get the Most?

America's Poison Center's official site keeps statistics on the trend of calls they receive.

Here's how those numbers looked when I was typing this. In the last 24 hours, Poison Control centers had received:

  • 94 cases of Opioid Overdose and Narcotic Pain Medications
  • 23 cases of E-Cigarettes and Liquid Nicotine Poisoning
  • 42 cases for Hand Sanitizer Safety
  • 15 cases for Laundry Pod Safety

Other common calls are for insect and snake bites and contact with household cleaners. The calls for marijuana edibles and other forms of THC are also increasing.

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This is not a reason to avoid calling Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222, but something to keep in mind. They also have an online form you could use for help.

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