August 19, 2009 —

Here at Five Moms we talk a lot about communication. One part of that is talking, and I hope you have taken our advice to talk with your teens, talk with your friends, and talk with your community. These are all important and effective ways to spread awareness of teen OTC cough medicine abuse.

Any good conversation has two sides, however, so don't forget about the other half: listening. It can make a difference to our teens when it comes to their decisions about cough medicine abuse. Every now and then, you need to step back and let your teen take the wheel in an important conversation, such as the difficult subject of substance abuse. It's a challenging way to approach a conversation for some parents, but listening allows you to understand your teen's experiences and perspectives.

Starting the conversation is certainly important to prevent your teen from this risky behavior, but listening can do just as much. Does your teen know about this form of abuse? Does he understand the real risks involved? Does he have friends who have abused cough medicine or other drugs? What does your teen think about the subject? Listening will let you know how much your teen already knows or has been exposed to.

There are many resources you can leverage as parents to discuss the dangers of medicine abuse with your teen. You can show the effects of abuse through the stories on WhatisDXM.com or you can share recent news with your family at dinner. No matter what, though, don't forget how important it is to make sure to actively listen to what your teen tell you.

What does your teen think about cough medicine abuse? Visit our Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/stopmedicineabuse and share what you've learned from your child.