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What You Should Know About Teen Medicine Abuse

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - While millions of Americans safely rely on over-the-counter  (OTC) cough medicine to temporarily relieve their cough symptoms,  approximately one out of 20 teens reports abusing it  to get high.

Teen medicine abuse—of prescription and OTC medicines-is a real  problem among today’s youth. Teens access these medicines from home  medicine cabinets and mistakenly believe that abusing them is “safer”   than other drugs. Fortunately, there are several steps that parents can take  to keep their own child out of such statistics.

Learn About Medicine Abuse

OTC cough medicine abuse may surprise you. When teens are abusing cough  medicine, they are seeking a “high” from the active ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM). DXM is a cough suppressant that  is found in over 100 products on the market today. When taken according to  dosing instructions, medicines that contain DXM are safe and effective.  Millions of Americans safely rely on OTC cough medicine, but abusers  intentionally take excessive amounts—sometimes more than 25 times the  recommended dose—to get high. This means they ingest multiple packages  or bottles of OTC cough medicines that contain DXM!

Side effects of DXM include vomiting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and  disorientation. When combined with other drugs or alcohol, these side effects  are greatly increased and can be lethal.

Talk to Your Teen

Talk to your teen about prescription and OTC medicine abuse. According to  the Partnership at, teens who learn from their parents about the  risks of drugs are 50 percent less likely to use drugs.

Monitor Your Medicines

Safeguard the medicine cabinet in your home. Know what you have and how  much, so you’ll notice if anything is missing. The Partnership at also tells us that 64 percent of parents report that medicines  in their home can be accessed by anyone. So be sure to store your  prescription and OTC medicines in a secure place.

Learn More

Educate yourself! Get more information and see recommended conversation  starters at