Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens and Medicine Abuse


I feel this topic is so important, that I am posting another Blog Post on it with a bit more information. Many parents fear their teens are involved in substance abuse (whether it is pot or crack) - but what you need to remember is many of the drugs can be located in your own home. Cough medicine, sleeping pills, prescription drugs (meant for other family members, etc). Take the time to learn more.



Recent studies among middle and high school aged kids across the country show a disturbing form of substance abuse among teens: the intentional abuse of otherwise beneficial medications, both prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC), to get high.


Teens who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are half as likely to abuse drugs.


According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five teens reports having abused a prescription drug to get high. Where OTC medicines are concerned, data from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America indicate that one in 10 teens reports having abused OTC cough medicines to get high, and 28 percent know someone who has tried it.


The ingredient the teens are abusing in OTC cough medicines is dextromethorphan, or DXM. When used according to label directions, DXM is a safe and effective ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is found in well over 100 brand-name and store-brand over-the-counter cough medicines. When abused in extreme amounts, DXM can be dangerous.


StopMedicineAbuse.org was developed by the leading makers of OTC cough medicines to build awareness about this type of substance abuse behavior, provide tips to prevent it from happening, and encourage parents to safeguard their medicine cabinets. Substance abuse can touch any family: The key to keeping teens drug-free is education and talking about the dangers of abuse.

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