• Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Teen Cough Medicine Abuse

    Cough medicine abuse is taking extremely large doses of cough medicine that exceed the safe and effective levels in order to get high. DXM, or dextromethorphan, is one of the active ingredients in many over-the-counter cold and cough medicines. People often think that because DXM is usually found in over-the-counter cough medicines than it must be harmless. It is usually misunderstood as just an easy and safe way to get high – but it’s not. When abused, DXM can induce dissociative effects and is extremely dangerous. Cough medicine is also sometimes abused with other drugs, including alcohol, which can cause additional harmful effects.

    Research reveals that DXM cough medicine abuse is a huge problem that 1 out of 11 teens, or over 2 million teens, from across the country and of all backgrounds, have abused cough medicine to get high. Often, these teens are finding information about cough medicine abuse on the internet.

    Research also shows that parents do influence their teens’ decisions whether or not to use drugs. They can make a positive difference in their teens’ lives.  To specifically prevent cough medicine abuse, here are the things parents can do for their teens.

    Educate Yourself

    • Educate yourself about cough medicine abuse and the harm it could cause to your teen. You may share this information with others who are in contact with your teen, such as school administrators, teachers, and counsellors.
    • Make sure you’re aware of the signs of cough medicine abuse and what to watch out for.

    Communicate with Your Teens

    • Talk to your teens. Be clear that you do not want them taking medicine without your knowledge.
    • Explain to your teens and younger children that medicines are important tools in healthcare, but they must be used according to directions.
    • Make sure your teens understand that abusing cough medicine can be very dangerous just as abusing illegal drugs.

    Safeguard Medications at Home

    • Recognize the medicines that are in your home and keep track of their numbers.
    • If your child needs medications during school hours, communicate with school officials about medicine policies in the school.

    Monitor Your Teens’ Internet Usage

    • Because DXM is widely promoted on the internet, it is important that parents monitor their children’s internet usage.
    • Be aware of what your teen is doing on the internet, the web sites he or she visits, and the amount of time he or she is logged on.
    • Be on the lookout for suspicious websites and emails that seem to be promoting the abuse of DXM or other drugs, both legal and illegal.

    Source:

    http://otcsafety.org/uploads/files/publications/parentsguide.pdf

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    Categories: Prescription Drug Abuse

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