Schools and parents today need to work together to help prevent teen drug use.
Fast Facts: Preventing Teen OTC Cough Medicine Abuse – From Home to Homeroom
A Wake Up Call for Parents
- Thirty-three percent of American high school teens know someone who has abused cough medicine, a wake up call for those parents who think that their teen is not affected or being exposed to the issue.
- Six percent of high school teens admit to abusing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high in the past year.
Cough Medicine Abuse Does Not Happen By Accident
- While safe and effective when taken as directed, teens looking to get high from cough medicine take excessive amounts, sometimes 25 to 50 times the recommended dosage. This translates to multiple bottles or packages of medicine at one time.
- Teens often abuse cough medicines with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
- Even the best kid in the world doesn’t have the same ability as adults to assess risk because the part of their brain that processes risk, the frontal cortex, doesn’t finish developing until their mid 20s.
Parents Have the Power to Keep Teens Drug-free
- Research shows that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risk of drug abuse are up to half as likely to use.
- Parents are not alone in their fight to prevent medicine abuse; reaching out to the school nurse can help parents learn more about the issue and access local resources.
- Parents can learn more about the Home to Homeroom campaign by logging onto www.StopMedicineAbuse.org
Parents can interact and help raise awareness by joining online communities including:
- Five Moms Campaign (www.fivemoms.com)
- Twitter.com (@StopMedAbuse)