Jun 5, 2023
Karen Smith is the Founder of Catie's Cause, a nonprofit charity dedicated to building awareness about the safe use of over-the-counter pain medications. After the death of her daughter Catie from liver failure due to overuse of Tylenol, Karen founded this organization to shine a light on the unintended and intentional side effects of easy access to these medicines.
Karen explains, "The research shows that there are four main groups of individuals who are impacted by acetaminophen poisoning. Young adults definitely are a large group, oftentimes because they're on their own and they don't realize the dangers of medication. Some of them do begin to abuse it and they take it way too regularly. Sadly, about 50% of the deaths are from suicide, so obviously intended, but 50% of them are unintended. So young adults are a big group."
"Another group is young children because parents tend to freak out when their little ones get a headache, and they overmedicate. The third group impacted are the elderly because they have difficulty reading the warning labels or are taking a lot of other medications, and their liver may already be compromised by that."
"And then the last group are those with limited access to healthcare. That's primarily because they don't have someone to warn them about what could happen if they overuse that medication. Instead of going to a doctor, they tend to go to the pharmacy and pick up whatever's on the shelf."
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