Industry Group Launches Website on Cough Medicine Abuse
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), which represents manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, has launched an educational campaign on cough medicine abuse focused on a new website, the U.S. News & World Report reported on May 11.
FiveMoms.com features the blogs of five women, including a pediatric nurse practitioner, a deputy sheriff, and an accountant, whose lives have been affected by cough medicine abuse. The site includes a social networking forum for concerned parents and information on how to notice signs of cough medicine abuse in adolescents.
"It’s a preventable problem," said CHPA spokeswoman Virginia Cox. "Parents need to educate themselves and have conversations with their kids."
Over-the-counter cough medicines, such as Robitussin or Coricidin, can cause serious cognitive problems, such as psychosis and paranoid delusions, when ingested in inappropriately high quantities. The active ingredient in cough medicines, dextromethorphan, can cause anesthetic effects leading to a trancelike and dissociative state.
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one-in-10 teenagers have abused dextromethorphan, some taking as much as 25 to 50 times the usual dosage. Christy Crandell, one of the five moms, cautions parents to be aware of how their children are using the Internet, as thousands of websites promote the abuse of cough medicine.
There are no specific drugs or treatment programs for cough medicine abuse, making it important for parents to find a clinician or addiction treatment facility that is knowledgeable about dextromethorphan abuse, said Shannon Miller, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati and an expert in medicine addiction.