Confronting death from drug self-intoxication (DDSI): Prevention through a better definition

Ian R.H. Rockett, Gordon S. Smith, Eric D. Caine, Nestor D. Kapusta, Randy L. Hanzlick, G. Luke Larkin, Charles P.E. Naylor, Kurt B. Nolte, Ted R. Miller, Sandra L. Putnam, Diego De Leo, John Kleinig, Steven Stack, Knox H. Todd, David W. Fraser

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    40 Scopus citations


    Suicide and other selfdirected violence deaths are likely grossly underestimated, reflecting inappropriate classification ofmany drug intoxication deaths as accidents or unintentional and heterogeneous ascertainment and coding practices across states. As the tide of prescription and illicit drug-poisoning deaths is rising, public health and research needs would be better satisfied by considering most of these deaths a result of self-intoxication. Epidemiologists and prevention scientists could design better intervention strategies by focusing on premorbid behavior. We propose incorporating deaths from drug selfintoxication and investigations of all poisoning deaths into the National Violent Death Reporting System, which contains misclassified homicides and undetermined intent deaths, to facilitate efforts to comprehend and reverse the surging rate of drug intoxication fatalities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)e49-e55
    JournalAmerican journal of public health
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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  • Cite this

    Rockett, I. R. H., Smith, G. S., Caine, E. D., Kapusta, N. D., Hanzlick, R. L., Larkin, G. L., Naylor, C. P. E., Nolte, K. B., Miller, T. R., Putnam, S. L., De Leo, D., Kleinig, J., Stack, S., Todd, K. H., & Fraser, D. W. (2014). Confronting death from drug self-intoxication (DDSI): Prevention through a better definition. American journal of public health, 104(12), e49-e55.