January 19, 2010 —

While people tend to focus on making New Year resolutions for themselves, this year I encourage each of you to make resolutions that improve your communities. There are multiple ways to achieve this, but I would like to make one suggestion: Help raise awareness about the dangers of cough medicine abuse. I was shocked to discover the national issue of teenagers abusing over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines, but even more so to learn that this behavior could be happening in my own community. So, as one of the Five Moms as well as a mother of four and foster parent, I started talking to family members, parents, teens, and others in my community about the warning signs of abuse and how to prevent it from happening. This year my goal is to further educate parents about the dangers of cough medicine abuse by hosting a Town Hall meeting. I challenge each of you to talk to other parents and your others in your community about the dangers of OTC cough medicine abuse. We can truly make a difference by working together, which is why Five Moms strives to ensure parents have the resources they need to get involved in their communities. Our web site makes it easy to find information on ways to take action to keep your teens safe. By using the free resources on our site, you can also help other parents understand the seriousness of this issue so they can discuss those risks with their own teens. If spreading the word about the dangers of cough medicine abuse is a community resolution you’d like to adopt, here are a few useful tips and resources:

  • E-mail five friends or family members about medicine abuse by using our Tell-a-Friend tool available in both English and Spanish.
  • Share this flyer at your next parent-teacher conference or school meeting.
  • Order free educational brochures for parents and distribute them at your child’s next sports event or school play, or at PTA meetings.
  • Host a town hall meeting to share information about teenage medicine abuse with other parents and adult influencers.

Being responsible, getting involved, and speaking out against OTC cough medicine abuse are great steps every parent can take this year. Do you have more ideas for New Year community resolutions? Share them with the community on the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook fan page!