October 06, 2009 —

My first month with the Five Moms campaign has been a great experience, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of cough medicine abuse among teens. During the month of October, which is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, we are trying to educate as many people as possible about this very important issue. I have spent a lot of time educating parents about the dangers of medicine abuse and sharing my story. Although it has not always been easy, it is important to me that other people learn from my experience so that they don’t have to go through what I did. I know that OTC cough medicine abuse has touched some of our readers personally, but I also realize that this is a new issue for many. No matter what your past experience has been, we all can play a part in educating parents and teens alike about this destructive behavior during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. For those of you who have witnessed this form of abuse first-hand in your family, your school, or your community, speak up! Making a personal connection among your friends or in your community can go a long way in helping to prevent abuse, so learn the facts. If you don’t have a personal experience with OTC cough medicine abuse, it doesn’t mean that you should stay silent. Talk to your teens about the dangers of abuse. You can share my story or the stories of teens from WhatisDXM.com. Next time you are at a town hall or PTA meeting, talk to your community and tell them about National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. Or, please join us at one of the town hall events we’re co-hosting with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. In the coming weeks, we’ll be in Richmond, Virginia; Lansing, Michigan; and Santa Ana, California. Whether or not you have a personal experience to share, you can play a valuable role in educating people about OTC cough medicine abuse. So make your voice heard! What better time to speak out than during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month? How do you plan to use National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month to talk about the issue of OTC cough medicine abuse among teens? Share your story on the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/stopmedicineabuse.