A Dose of Prevention : Combating Medicine Abuse in Your Community. Abuse of Rx and OTC Medicines. Recent studies indicate that the abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) to get high is a growing concern— particularly among young people between the ages of 12-17.
Recent studies indicate that the abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) to get high is a growing concern— particularly among young people between the ages of 12-17.
Among 8th Graders
Source: Monitoring the Future Study (2007); Past Month Use
Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan
The Bad News
Source: Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), Teens 2007
Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold
Robitussin cough products
Sudafed cough medicines
Triaminic cough syrups
Tylenol Cold products
Vicks 44 Cough Relief products
Vicks NyQuil and Dayquil Medicines
Generic/store brandsSample of Products with DXM
Key Factors Driving Teen Medicine Abuse
Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
High blood pressure and rapid heart beat
Numbness of fingers and toes
Drowsiness and dizziness
Fever and headaches
Rashes and itchy skin
Loss of consciousnessThe “Lows”
There are many web sites and online communities that advocate and promote the abuse of DXM-containing cough medicineThe Internet
Over the past few years, CADCA members were reporting increased incidents of abuse involving over-the-counter medicines, but there was little evidence of a national trend.
In December 2006, for the first time NIDA’s Monitoring the Future included cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) in their survey.
In it, 4.2 percent of eighth graders, 5.3 percent of 10th graders, and 6.9 percent of 12th graders reported taking cold or cough medicines containing DXM during the past year to get high.
80 percent said they were aware of cough medicine abuse.
77 percent said the abuse of medicines—both prescription (Rx) and OTC—is, or likely is, a major problem in their community.
66 percent said cough medicine abuse was a particular problem among youth in their communities.
73 percent of coalition members said they do not think parents in their communities are aware that OTC medicine abuse is a problem among youth.
75 percent responded that parents do not talk to their children and teens about the dangers of abusing OTC cough meds.
In response, CADCA partnered with the
Consumer Healthcare Products Association
(CHPA), which represents the makers of
over-the-counter medicines, and launched
the Dose of Prevention campaign, to
educate communities about cough medicine
“Education is the most effective tool we have to fight substance abuse—including cough medicine abuse—at the community level.”
General Arthur T. Dean
CADCA Chairman and CEO
Online in downloadable format to be replicated and modified for local use.
A Dose of Prevention Toolkit: