May 30, 2007 —
Recently, some retailers prohibited children under the age of 18 from purchasing over-the-counter cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan. While these efforts represent a commitment to address the problem of teen cough medicine abuse at a community level, they do not mitigate the role that we, as parents, play in preventing or stopping this substance abuse problem. Research consistently shows that parents are a very important influence in their teens' lives. Teens who learn about drugs at home are half as likely to abuse drugs. Including information about cough medicine abuse in these "drug talks" is a major goal of the Five Moms Campaign. We want to make sure parents are aware of the problem and talk to their kids about it. Although it can be easy to forget, we, parents, have the power to affect this problem. Education is the key.