Taking Our Fight Against Cough Medicine Abuse to the Next Level

By Becky Posted February 26, 2009 under

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has released the results of its 20th annual teen Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey. The results are fascinating, and offer both encouraging news about teen cough medicine abuse and a clear call to action on what we must do to prevent this type of substance abuse.

The good news is that the study does not show any increase from 2007 levels in the lifetime abuse rate among teens of OTC cough medicine. This, combined with the news we received in December about a slight overall decline in the annual abuse rates among teens for cough medicine, is reassuring and tells us that our efforts are making a difference.

That said, our work is far from over. We know that there are still roughly 2.4 million teens who have ever abused cough medicine in their lives, and this new study shows that as many as 1.7 million teens have done it in the past year.

Throughout our efforts, we’ve learned that the simple things make a difference in decreasing the number of teens who abuse cough medicine. For example, we know that teenagers whose parents talk to them on a regular basis about the dangers of drug use are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don’t. The data in the Partnership study, however, indicate that only 18 percent of teens say their parents talk with them about cough medicine abuse.

Clearly, this is something we must and can change. Together.

We can’t thank you enough for the work you already have done to help us bring awareness to parents about teen cough medicine abuse, and now we are calling on you again to help let other parents know how powerful they are in preventing this substance abuse trend. We need to do everything we can to make sure parents, educators, and community leaders have the tools they need to talk about medicine abuse in their communities and within their own homes. To help accomplish this, the other Five Moms and I are pleased to pledge our support to a broader effort with the new Stop Medicine Abuse initiative.

The Stop Medicine Abuse initiative represents an unprecedented, integrated effort with drug abuse prevention organizations and the leading makers of OTC cough medicines under their association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), to educate parents and communities about the dangers of medicine abuse. CHPA has brought together original content and features along with resources from its partners“D.A.R.E., the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America“to bring to you the next step in preventing teen medicine abuse in one easy-to-use resource.

Five Moms will now be included under the umbrella of the Stop Medicine Abuse initiative. As a result, we will be able to deliver to you deeper, more interactive content to raise awareness and promote action around stopping cough medicine abuse.

Some of the great new tools that will be available to the Five Moms community via Stop Medicine Abuse include:

  • An informative quiz you can take to test your knowledge about medicine abuse. The quiz is quick, but thoughtful, and it is a great way to initiate a conversation with fellow parents.
  • A brand new way to connect with other concerned parents through the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook fan page. Become a fan today and help us spread the word to other parents on Facebook.
  • An updated tell-a-friend tool about all of our Stop Medicine Abuse efforts.

While StopMedicineAbuse.org will be the new home for the Five Moms campaign, you will always be able to visit us here at FiveMoms.com or at our Gather community. Once again, thank you for all your help in our efforts to fulfill the Five Moms mission, and I hope you will continue to support us in the fight against cough medicine abuse. We are looking forward to this new chapter in our efforts to protect our children and help families across the United States.