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Substance Abuse Expert Dr. Drew Joins Forces with the Five Moms to Raise Awareness About OTC Cough Medicine Abuse Among Teens
Date:10/20/2009

Calls upon U.S. Congress to Join in this Fight to Stop Medicine Abuse

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Drew Pinsky, a nationally renowned drug abuse expert, and the Five Moms, five exceptional women dedicated to spreading the word about the dangers of cough medicine abuse, are speaking out to educate parents and congressional staff on Capitol Hill about the issue of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine abuse among teens and how to prevent it through education.

While OTC cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) are safe and effective when used as directed, they can be dangerous when abused in extreme amounts to get high. Dr. Drew and the Five Moms want parents of teens to know that the ABCs of preventing cough medicine abuse in their family are:

A - Recognize that Abuse of OTC cough medicine is an issue among teens. Parents may think, "not my teen," but one in 10 teens reports having abused OTC cough medicines to get high and 28 percent know someone who has tried it.

B - Be aware of the warning signs. Some of the warning signs parents should look for include:

-- Empty cough medicine boxes or bottles in the trash of your child's room or in your child's backpack

-- Missing boxes or bottles of medication from the medicine cabinet

-- Changes in friends, physical appearance, or sleeping or eating patterns

-- Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities

-- Hearing your child use certain slang terms related to DXM abuse, such as Dex, Skittling, Tussing, Robo-Tripping, Triple Cs, etc.

C - Communicate - talk to your teen about the dangers of abuse. Kids who learn about the dangers of drug abuse from their parents are half as likely to abuse drugs. Parents can visit StopMedicineAbuse.org where they can access resources they need to talk about the issue.

"Parents have far more power than they realize to keep their kids drug-free but our legislators also play a role in preventing this problem," said Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of the popular radio show Loveline and the star of the VH1 hits "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" and "Sober House." "In addition to raising awareness about the dangers of cough medicine abuse, the Five Moms and I are spending today on Capitol Hill to encourage our elected officials to pass key legislation that would prohibit the sale of the raw form of dextromethorphan online, prohibit the sale of OTC cough medicine to those under 18 years of age."

In addition to supporting the efforts of Dr. Drew and the Five Moms, the leading makers of OTC cough medicines have included a new educational icon for parents on the packaging of OTC cough medicines. This icon serves as a mini public service announcement for parents by making them aware of the issue of cough medicine abuse among teens and pointing them to StopMedicineAbuse.org where they can access resources they need to talk to their teen.

"The makers of cough medicine are steadfast in their commitment to raise awareness about the dangers of cough medicine abuse," said Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) president. "Medicines containing dextromethorphan have a 50-year history of being safe and effective when used correctly. But when abused in extreme excess, dextromethorphan can produce dangerous side effects, especially when combined with alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription drugs. We encourage parents to visit StopMedicineAbuse.org to learn more about the issue and engage in conversations about the dangers of medicine abuse with their teens."

StopMedicineAbuse.org was developed by the leading makers of OTC cough medicines to build awareness around the potential for this type of substance abuse behavior, provide tips to prevent it from happening, and encourage parents to safeguard their medicine cabinets.

CHPA is the 128-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.

www.chpa-info.org

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association


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SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association
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