January 26, 2009 —

Two weeks ago, Hilda wrote to you about the five resolutions we have made at Five Moms. I think that we can do a lot together to make these resolutions a reality. The first step is to educate ourselves, our families, and our communities about the danger of cough medicine abuse. By creating a foundation of knowledge, we can move forward in preventing cough medicine abuse and protecting our neighborhoods.

Hilda already noted several great web sites about preventing substance abuse like StopMedicineAbuse.org (a site created by the same group—CHPA—that sponsors Five Moms). This site contains valuable information you can pass on to your family, and I would like to share with you a few more educational links that I have come across on the Internet.

KidsHealth is made up of three web sites aimed at kids, parents, and teens, respectively. KidsHealth for Parents has great articles about important issues, including an informative article about cough medicine abuse. KidsHealth and TeenHealth also link to a number of other web sites and organizations with information for both teens and parents.

WhatisDXM.com is a web site by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and is geared toward teens. The web site talks about the dangers of dextromethorphan abuse in straightforward terms through interviews with real-life teens, an interactive "game" where teens can see the real effects of cough medicine abuse, and a comprehensive glossary.

In fact, one way you can bring up the topic of cough medicine abuse is to visit web sites like WhatisDXM.com and TeensHealth with your teens. You can use the time you spend exploring these sites as an opportunity to ask your teens questions about what they might already know about cough medicine abuse and to listen to their answers. You might be surprised by what your kids have already heard from their peers, and it can be an educational experience for both you and your children to talk about the issue.

There are many ways we can take action to fulfill the Five Moms mission, but the most important thing we can do is to learn more about cough medicine abuse and how it can affect our families. The knowledge that we learn and share is crucial to protecting our families and stopping this abuse in our homes and communities.