Reporting Controlled Substance Overdoses
Texas state law, Texas Health and Safety Code §161.042, requires health care providers, or any person treating a Penalty Group 1 drug overdose to report the overdose to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) immediately.
An overdose happens when too much of a substance which can have harmful effects to the body’s functions. Drug overdoses may be accidental or intentional. If you’ve taken more than the recommended amount of a drug or enough to have a harmful effect on your body’s functions, you have overdosed.
An overdose can lead to serious medical complications, including death. The severity of a drug overdose depends on the drug, the amount taken, and the physical and medical history of the person who overdosed.
Until recently, a person would have to call the Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN) to report an overdose. Now, DSHS created an electronic reporting form to make reporting of Penalty Group 1 drug overdoses easier. Please call TPCN for any questions or advice related to Penalty Group 1 overdoses, exposures, or treatments.
How to Report an Overdose
Please report cases within 24 hours to DSHS. The law states the reports must include the following:
- Date of overdose
- Type of controlled substance used
- Sex and approximate age of patient
- Symptoms associated with overdose
- Extent of treatment necessary
- Patient outcome
Note: Do not report the patient's name, address, or details about patient identity.
Penalty Group 1 Drugs
Penalty Group 1 drugs are classified by Texas Health and Safety Code §481.102. and include the following:
For more information on what DSHS is doing about substance use including opioids, see the Agency Action Plan to Address Substance Use.