November 13, 2007 —

Recently, The Washingtonian, Washington, D.C.'s monthly magazine, ran a letter I wrote about the Five Moms campaign against cough medicine abuse and our efforts to educate parents about this issue online. The more parents are aware of the dangers posed on the Internet regarding teenagers' abuse of dextromethorphan, the safer our children will be. Here's an excerpt from my letter:

"Even more alarming is the new type of drug abuse gaining traction on Facebook and other networking sites that most parents would never even think to consider: cough medicine abuse. Kids report taking extreme doses of cough medicine to get high on the active ingredient dextromethorphan - and they're teaching each other how to do it on Internet communities such as Facebook. Some Facebook users glorify this abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, which can have dangerous side effects - especially if combined with alcohol or illicit or prescription drugs."

And, of course, stay aware of your teen's online friends. Please make sure that your teen is using Facebook and other social networking sites in a safe and appropriate manner.