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11-14-2004, 10:57 PM
What Pharmacist Wayne Wojtczak heard from a customer on a recent morning left him worried.

A mother called concerned about a cold and flu medication.

"The mother said her child told her kids were eating it like candy and it was doing something to them," said Wojtczak, who works at Walgreens Drug Store, 3825 Durand Ave. (Highway 11).

Wojtczak said that could create a dangerous situation as kids seeking a high overdosed on one of the active ingredients: Acetaminophen, a common pain reliever and fever reducer. Taken in quantities larger than recommended doses it can cause permanent liver damage and, in extreme cases, worse.

"It can be fatal," he said.

Wojtczak landed on what some in the drug abuse prevention and treatment community consider a spreading phenomenon: The use of over-the-counter medications among teens seeking to get high.

"We see a growing trend among teenagers and even young adults misusing common household medicines," said Francie McGuire Winkler, executive director of the Racine Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.

According to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of teens calling poison control centers about cough medicine misuse has doubled in four years.

Misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs by teens was second only to marijuana use, McGuire Winkler said.

Taken in high enough quantities, the substance dextromethorphan, or DXM - which is common in more than 80 over-the-counter cold medications - can produce psychedelic effects, according to the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information Website.

The most dangerous cold medicine abuse by teenagers involves Coricidin Cold and Cough, which also is called Triple C's or Candy, according to the NCADI Web site Coricidin contains the highest amount of DXM, and also contains chlorpheniramine maleate, which can cause brain damage and death in large doses, according to information on the NCADI Web site.

Walgreens often restricts the quantities of Coricidin that can be purchased to prevent teens from abusing the medication, according to Carol Hively, a corporate spokeswoman for Walgreens.

Hively said the trends with teen abuse of over-the-counter medications change from time to time. Cough medicine used to be a concern, for example.

Concerns about acetaminophen overdose was one of the reasons why Racine Unified School District won't give any medication during the school day without a physician's prescription, according to Susan Stroupe, Unified's supervisor of health services. Parents were bringing in multiple over-the-counter medications, and the combined dose of acetaminophen was two or three times what was recommended.

"It's a very potent drug," Stroupe said. "It's one you have to respect."

One of the problems with misuse of over-the-counter medications is that it's often not taken as seriously as illegal drugs and it's easily accessible, McGuire Winkler said.

Abuse numbers are difficult to track because the medications are so easily and legally available, McGuire Winkler said.

Stroupe said she hadn't yet heard any concerns about abuse of cold and flu medicines, but earlier this year the district received information to watch for abuse of oral numbing gels.

Said Stroupe, of over-the-counter drugs: "It's amazing what kids do with these things."

Link: http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2004/.../iq_3209847.txt (http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2004/11/14/local/iq_3209847.txt)

11-15-2004, 12:37 PM
Oral numbing gels? WTF are you going to do with that?

11-15-2004, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by jersey_emt@Nov 15 2004, 12:37 PM
Oral numbing gels? WTF are you going to do with that?
Put them on your PeePeeSack!!!!


11-15-2004, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by deadevilfrog+Nov 15 2004, 02:37 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (deadevilfrog @ Nov 15 2004, 02:37 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--jersey_emt@Nov 15 2004, 12:37 PM
Oral numbing gels? WTF are you going to do with that?
Put them on your PeePeeSack!!!!

ahem [/b][/quote]
ahem indeed.

11-16-2004, 02:03 PM
WTF acetaminophen can't be abused or get a high from! This seems obvious that the reporters are uneducated about drugs in this story.

11-16-2004, 06:32 PM
they never said that
they said that if you have too much of it, it is dangerous. which is ture.
they just didn't write cleary enough to enforce the point that some of these medications kids are taking alot of have apap along with whatever active ingredient (dxm in this case) that these kids want.