May 24, 2012 —
As parents, we do the best we can to talk with our teens and to educate them about the dangers of substance abuse. Sometimes, however, our teens still don’t understand that bad things can happen to them, and that there are consequences to their actions.
Unfortunately, my son Ryan was one of those teens. Ryan was 18-years-old when he was arrested for armed robbery while high on over-the-counter cough medicine and marijuana. Ryan was never “the type of boy” who would do something like that, and my husband and I were completely shocked to learn about his drug habits.
After Ryan’s arrest, I began sharing my family’s story with other parents as a cautionary tale. It brings me comfort to know that my family’s experience has not been in vain. Others have been able to learn from our experience and take the steps necessary to protect their families.
But, I’m not alone in my efforts – a group of teens who have abused cough medicine are now sharing their stories in the hope that they can educate their peers about this dangerous behavior.
Knowing that valuable lessons for teens sometimes come from other teens, our friends at CHPA and The Partnership at Drugfree.org worked to develop WhatisDXM.com. The site, created in response to websites that promote this form of substance abuse, features teens sharing their personal stories about the risks of cough medicine abuse and what can happen if teens partake in this behavior.
I encourage you to visit the site with your teen and to use these stories as a way to start your own conversation about cough medicine abuse. The more you can do to educate your teen about the risks of cough medicine abuse, the less likely he or she is to partake in the behavior.
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