Poison Control Warns About Dangerous Combination of Drugs with Summer Heat

Although most residents go about their daily routines regardless of the unbearable summer heat, the state’s poison control center warns that high heat and humidity can kill when the body is unable to regulate a high internal temperature.

Prevent heat-related illnesses by staying cool, hydrated, and out of direct sunlight during the day.

Heatstroke not only occurs when temperatures reach dangerous levels but also from the use of certain therapeutic, recreational and illicit drugs.

These drugs can prevent the body from cooling down through sweating. Too often this results in serious health complications – drug-induced fever and dehydration.

“Excessive heat combined with certain drugs like ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin can be deadly,” Diane Calello, MD, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center, said. “But it’s not just illicit drugs. Certain medications, like antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, antipsychotics, and ADHD medications can also cause [heatstroke] when taken during extremely hot and humid weather."

Although it might seem that heatstroke comes on suddenly, warning signs often appear early on.

Know the symptoms, prevent a tragedy — abdominal cramps, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, weakness, heavy sweat or a lack of sweat, confusion, odd behavior, irritability, delusions, hallucinations, seizures, and coma.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency – it is critical that you act fast.

WARNING: An extremely hot weekend is forecasted for New Jersey. Use caution as high temperatures and humidity can cause dangerous and even fatal health consequences.

If experiencing health effects, get medical attention immediately. Call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you have questions, concerns, or an emergency regarding heat-related illnesses or other potentially dangerous exposure/injury, do not wait until symptoms occur or spend critical time looking online.

New Jersey residents can reach their poison control center by calling (1-800-222-1222), texting (973-339-0702), or chatting with medical professionals for free, 24/7.