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10% of kids have tried abusing cough medicines

Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug abuse continues to spread throughout America. According to some recent surveys though, most parents aren’t aware that ten percent of kids (2.4 million) have tried abusing cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan (DXM).

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) recently launched a new campaign designed to educate communities about how to prevent cough medicine abuse among teenagers. The alliance produced a website called Dose of Prevention and released a toolkit that is designed to arm parents, educators, retailers, healthcare providers, law enforcement officials, and other community leaders with critical information to address the problem of cough medicine abuse.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), an estimated 12,584 emergency department visits in 2004 involved pharmaceuticals containing DXM. Nearly half of these visits involved young people between the ages of 12 and 20.

A 6-year retrospective study from 1999 to 2004 of the California Poison Control System showed a 10-fold increase in the rate of DXM abuse cases in all ages and a 15-fold increase in the rate of cases in adolescents, accounting for about 75% of all of the cases.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) has members who make the cough medicines containing DXM. Do you think their recent efforts after such a huge increase are enough, or should some other regulatory agency step in?

Article by Eric

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