Teacher About This Author
October 03, 2013 —
Every fall, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and Stop Medicine Abuse observes October as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month (NMAAM), and this year I would like to encourage individuals and communities to help raise awareness about over-the-counter cough (OTC) medicine abuse. It is a behavior that often flies under the radar, but the fact is that roughly one out of three teenagers knows someone who has abused OTC cough medicine to get high. Please join me in the fight against medicine abuse this month by taking the following actions:
- Submit a letter to your local U.S. Senators urging them to co-sponsor the Prevent Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act! U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced this bi-partisan legislation in March 2013 to prohibit the sale of OTC cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to anyone under the age of 18. Please be sure to encourage your friends and family to submit a letter as well! Your support can positively impact your legislators’ involvement on this important issue.
- Participate in the CADCA Twitter chat on October 7 at 2 p.m. ET. We’ll be joining CADCA to share tools and resources for parents, educators and community officials. We can collectively work together to prevent medicine abuse. Follow @CADCA and @StopMedAbuse prior to the chat and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #PreventMedAbuse.
- Host a local event in your community. Plan and promote an educational event, such as a town hall meeting for parents, youth and community advocates to educate them on the potential dangers associated with medicine abuse and to discuss prevention, intervention strategies and treatment. If your event addresses both prescription drug abuse and OTC cough medicine abuse be sure to register for the CADCA 50 Challenge.
- Take the Stop Medicine Abuse Pledge. Make a commitment to fight OTC cough medicine abuse by taking the pledge to start the conversation with your teen, track how much cough medicine you have in the house at all times and educate yourself on the risks and warning signs of medicine abuse.
- Share resources with other parents in your community. Visit StopMedicineAbuse.org for audience specific toolkits filled with resources on community prevention. I also encourage you to share The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s ‘Damaged Circuits’ video in addition to presentations on medicine abuse with other parents in your community.
- Like Stop Medicine Abuse on Facebook and Follow @StopMedAbuse on Twitter. We’ll be participating in NMAAM all month and sharing up-to-date information, tools and resources through our Facebook page and Twitter handle.