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CHPA's Five Moms Campaign to Stop Medicine Abuse Welcomes New Mom Tammy Walsh

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), announced Tammy Walsh as the newest mom to join its Five Moms campaign to raise awareness of teen cough medicine abuse among parents. Walsh is a mother of two teenage boys and a high school math teacher from Northport, N.Y., with a passion for educating teens on the dangers of substance abuse.

Millions of Americans use medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) – a safe and effective ingredient found in more than 100 over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products – for relief from cough symptoms. However, some teens intentionally abuse large amounts of cough medicine containing DXM – sometimes as much as 25 to 50 times the recommended dose – to get high. According to the 2011 Monitoring the Future report released yesterday, nearly five percent of teens have abused OTC cough medicines to get high over the past year. While overall abuse has leveled off for eighth and tenth graders, it has declined among twelfth graders.

CHPA, which represents the leading makers of OTC medicines, launched the Five Moms campaign in 2007 with the goal of driving parents to action - to educate themselves on medicine abuse, to talk with their children about the risks of such abuse, to safeguard medicines in their homes, and to spread the word to other parents. In the summer of 2011, Five Moms initiated a search to find a new mom to join the campaign. Walsh's nomination statement on why she hoped to become the next Five Mom stood out in a dynamic selection of submissions due to her passion for working with teens and her impressive track record of education and engagement at the local level to address teen substance abuse.

"I've seen firsthand the impact that substance abuse can have on a family and a community," said new Five Mom Tammy Walsh. "Through my involvement with the Five Moms campaign I hope to help start the conversation between parents and teens about the risks of substance abuse in communities across the country. I am thrilled to join the Five Moms campaign in the fight against teen cough medicine abuse and look forward to continuing to spread awareness of this important issue."

Since its launch, the Five Moms campaign has reached more than 35 million parents and has resulted in 130,000 tell-a-friend electronic communications sent from parents to other parents to raise awareness of the issue of cough medicine abuse.

The Five Moms campaign features five dedicated mothers from a variety of backgrounds and geographic locations. The moms at the heart of the Five Moms campaign are:

  • Becky Dyer, a former D.A.R.E. officer and deputy sheriff;
  • Blaise Brooks, a mother, caretaker and accountant;
  • Christy Crandell, a mother, author and founder of a treatment and recovery center for teens;
  • Misty Fetko, a nurse and mother whose son lost his life while high on DXM; and
  • Tammy Walsh, a mother, educator and community advocate.

"The Consumer Healthcare Products Association and its partners have a long-standing commitment to raise awareness of the issue and urge parents to take action to prevent cough medicine abuse among teens," said CHPA President and CEO Scott M. Melville. "The Five Moms campaign is inspiring and effective because five mothers are reaching out to mothers and fathers across the country speaking from their personal experience fighting abuse in their home and community."

In 2009, CHPA introduced an educational icon on the packaging of cough medicines containing DXM to alert parents to the potential for abuse, and launched to engage parents and community leaders in the fight against teen cough medicine abuse.

CHPA and its members are involved in multiple efforts to curb the abuse of OTC cough medicines containing DXM with the help of a host of partners, including the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and The Partnership at, among other parent groups, health professional societies, law enforcement, the retail community and pharmacists.

For more information on efforts to raise awareness of teen cough medicine abuse, visit

CHPA is the 130-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.


SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association
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