What makes something a poison?

Someone here said caffeine was a drug because of the way it is consumed and effects body function. So I say sugar and salt are "drugs". Alcohol must be a drug, too.

So what then is a poison? Sugar can be viewed as a poison. Is caffeine a poison? Can someone dies of caffeine poisoning? People do die of alcohol poisoning.

Related Questions:

drug-abuse

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse can poison your body, depending on the substance.


Poisons are defined as any substance that impairs health or destroys life when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed by the body in relatively small amounts. Some toxicologists suggest that, depending on the dose, all substances are poisons. Many experts state that it is impossible to categorize any chemical as either safe or toxic and that the real concern is the risk or hazard associated with the use of any substance. Clinically all poisons are divided into those that respond to specific treatments or antidotes and those for which there is no specific treatment. Research continues to develop effective antitoxins for poisons, but there are relatively few effective antidotes.

Using this definition, it is true that ANY substance can be a poison if the person ingesting it is either allergic to the substance or overdoses the system with it, like a diabetic overdosing on sugar causing an insulin spike that could potentially kill him or her.

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answered 21 May '12, 20:28

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msakaijames
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Asked: 13 Mar '12, 21:16

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Last updated: 21 May '12, 20:28