Common Definitions

Overdose: When a drug is swallowed, inhaled, injected, or absorbed through the skin in excessive amounts and injures the body. Overdoses are either intentional or unintentional. If the person taking or giving a substance did not mean to hurt themselves or others, then it is unintentional.

Misuse: The use of prescription drugs in a manner other than as directed.

Abuse: Continued use of illicit or prescription drugs despite problems from drug use with relationships, work, school, health, or safety. People with substance abuse often experience loss of control and take drugs in larger amounts or for longer than they intended.

Diversion: The use of prescription drugs for recreational consumption, such as diverting them from their original medical purpose.

Naloxone/Narcan: A prescription drug that can reverse an opioid or heroin overdose if administered in time.

Poisoning: Injury or death due to the ingestion, inhalation, absorption through the skin, or injection of a drug, toxin, or other chemical such as gases and corrosives. Examples of poisonings include harmful effects resulting from exposure to alcohol, disinfectants, cleansers, paints, insecticides, and caustics.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs): State-run electronic databases used to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs to patients.