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02-03-2004, 07:20 PM
One local police chief is asking drug stores to keep some over-the-counter cough and cold medicines behind the counter because people -- particularly children -- are stealing them for a cheap high.

"It was within the last month that there was this misuse of these over-the-counter (drugs) by doubling and tripling the recommended dosage to get high. It's a problem," South Abington Township Police Chief Robert Gerrity said.

"I don't know how widespread it was, but some kids were stealing ... tablets and what we did was we approached all these pharmacies and we asked them to remove them from the shelves where they would not be accessible to the public."

"They're taking medicines that contain dextromethorphan," explained David Maize, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre.

"Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It's a derivative of morphine," he said. "In normal doses, it has no morphine effect. It doesn't do anything morphine does except suppress a cough," Dr. Maize said. "In high doses, which is what these kids are doing, it gives a high that has been described as an angel dust or PCP high. It's described as an out-of-body experience."

Rarely is dextromethorphan the only ingredient, he said. If kids take enough cough medicine to get a high, they run the risk of being poisoned by overdoses of the other drugs in the medication.

There are one or two cough medications that are favored by young people, but Dr. Maize said 140 medications on the market contain dextromethorphan. He said it is impractical to remove all from the shelves.

Scranton Police say they have no overdose reports or open investigations on over-the-counter drug abuse.

"I'm sure it is going on," said Carl Graziano, commander of the city police's drug unit.

Scranton High School-based School Resource Police Officer Michael Bryndzia said he's aware that those medications can be misused, but hasn't seen problem. "I've never really come across anything as such," he said.

Ed Raineri, director of community relations for Clear Brook Lodge, an adolescent drug treatment facility in Wilkes-Barre, said young people checking in for other abuse problems often have abused over-the-counter drugs.

"It's not uncommon to see that combined with other drugs -- alcohol and marijuana," he said.

By Rich Mates STAFF WRITER 02/03/2004

02-04-2004, 12:30 AM
at least they arent spreading complete bull shit...

I fear that DXM will no longer be an OTC drug... :(

02-04-2004, 03:06 AM
Originally posted by MR_AK@Feb 4 2004, 12:30 AM
at least they arent spreading complete bull shit...

I fear that DXM will no longer be an OTC drug... :(
On the contrary, it is one of the more accurate articles I've seen. Moreover, if you're a responsible and mature user of the substance, the move of DXM-containing products to behind the counters should not be a hindrance to your continued use. Likewise, if you are very young and/or immature and in the practice of stealing, perhaps this movement is in your best interest for the time being.


02-04-2004, 03:26 AM
I believe that the drug should be placed behind counters, but without age restriction or any need to give a reason to have it. Just putting it behind the counter or in a pharmacy, where you must speak with someone to get it, would drastically reduce young members of society from hurting themselves, or dosing fivalously (if that is the correct spelling). I think that age restriction would be a crime in itself. Just without age restriction is fine, that would help cut down the amount of thefts. Which in my opinion is great. However, CCC's should be taken off the shelves, or reformulated to prevent abuse somehow. Adda t puking agent so when 5 are taken you vomit or something.

02-04-2004, 03:47 PM
He said it is impractical to remove all from the shelves.

This is the biggest problem. What they'll end up doing is removing products taht contain Dextromethorphan only because these are the medications that are being used most often. Kids will end up stealing medications that contain other active ingredients because that's the only choice they're left with.