October 15, 2010 —
Now that the school year is under way and everyone has settled into a comfortable routine, it is the perfect time to talk to your teens about cough medicine abuse. The transition into a new year can expose teens to new experiences and influences that they may not have encountered before. Remember, you are the most valuable tool in keeping your teens healthy and safe—kids who say they talk with their parents at home about the risks of substance abuse are up to 50 percent less likely to participate in drug behavior. Although you may not think that your teen would abuse cough medicine, it helps to talk to them. The truth is that five percent of high school teens report having abused over-the-counter cough medicine to get high in the past year. Unfortunately, many teens are exposed to information about cough medicine abuse through websites and pop culture icons that promote this type of abuse. The Home to Homeroom section of StopMedicineAbuse.org provides tips and advice, from school nurses around the country, on topics ranging from communicating with your teen to abuse warning signs. Whether you’re at a soccer game or a PTA meeting, the school year also provides an opportunity to talk with other parents. The Stop Medicine Abuse website has a variety of tips to help you spread the word in your community. You may even want to partner with your teen’s school nurse to help educate the parents in your local schools. For more information on how you can protect your teens from medicine abuse, download the Home to Homeroom brochure or visit the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook page.