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View Full Version : The drug risk no one talks about

06-16-2004, 06:25 PM
An eighth-grader I know and love is in a rehab program. Her drug of choice? Coricidin cold medicine.

Turns out she is not the only kid who has found a way to get high off the products commonly found in our medicine cabinets and on drugstore shelves. The number of calls to poison centers across the country about the abuse of cold medicines containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, doubled in the last three years, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. In 2003, the centers took 4,382 calls about DXM -- 3,271 of which involved teens. Separately, the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration reports that 2,311 people were admitted to emergency rooms in 2002 for over-the-counter medicine overdoses.

Experts at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America are in the midst of surveying young people about their experience with drug use. For the first time, the interviewers will ask whether the youths have abused over-the-counter medicines.

Until they have that data, researchers aren't too worried about kids abusing cold pills. They're much more concerned about kids abusing cleaning products.

This practice, known among the hip set as ''sniffing'' or ''huffing,'' involves inhaling the poisons that are used to propel cooking spray, the fumes from gasoline or any of 1,000 common household products.

The last survey of drug use conducted by the Partnership, released this month, found a stunning one in four eighth-graders admit to having inhaled household chemicals to get high. Even more shocking: Less than half of the sixth-graders polled say they believe it can kill them.

How wrong they are.

This is a drug of choice for the middle-school set. Minor side effects include headaches, muscle weakness and mood swings. But sniffing highly concentrated amounts of some chemicals can be seriously harmful. It can cause irreversible central nervous system or brain damage, liver and kidney damage, even induce heart failure and death. On the first whiff.

As a parent of two soon-to-be middle schoolers, I'm officially freaked. Will my kids look in my medicine cabinet when they want a little buzz? Or under the sink where we keep the hard stuff?

While I was fretting over the news that Coricidin can kill (it's the dextromethorphan in the cough and cold formulas that gives abusers the high), the folks at the Partnership are much more worried about the inhalant issue.

''None of these [inhaled] substances is designed for human consumption. [Dextromethorphan] is; propane is not,'' said Steve Dnistrian, executive vice president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. ''It's a scary thing.''

That's why his organization launched a national program in the mid-1990s to let kids and parents know just how dangerous sniffing can be. There is no similar scare for over-the-counter medicines. Yet.

In fact, the Partnership chose not to begin a national education and awareness campaign about abuse of over-the-counter medicines.

''There's a fine line in this business of prevention: Do you wind up educating kids about behavior you're trying to prevent,'' he said.

The Partnership sees abuse of dextromethorphan as ''fringe behavior,'' Dnistrian said. One kid finds a Web site extolling the virtues of this over-the-counter high and tells a few friends. So, rather than launch a national media campaign, the group opted to fight a Web problem on the Web with a site that shares the unappealing stories of kids who drank bottles of cough syrup.

The key to protecting kids, he said, is to educate ourselves as parents. We need to shake our unshakeable belief that it won't happen to our kids -- the one belief common to all parents, he said.

''When I go out to talk to a school, there are 50 parents there. When I go out to talk to a school after an overdose, I get 300,'' Dnistrian said.

On the plus side, there is plenty of research telling us how to keep our kids from using drugs. Key among those findings: Kids whose parents regularly tell them about the risks of drugs are less likely to use them.

Or you could try the approach Dnistrian's dad used to keep him off drugs: ''He threatened to break my knees.''

Story Here: http://www.suntimes.com/output/richards/cs...dt-cindy16.html (http://www.suntimes.com/output/richards/cst-edt-cindy16.html)

06-17-2004, 12:34 AM
Yes, threats of violents are always the parents best friend in controling their child. Especially when it comes to drug use. So remember break their fucking knees.

06-17-2004, 07:48 AM
what's this guy doing going around knowing and loving 8th graders

06-21-2004, 09:39 AM
WTF is he talking about sniffing highly concentraited amounts of chemicals. I have never heard of anyone snorting ccc's. I'v never heard about dxm causeing central nevous system damage either, all there information is way off

06-21-2004, 12:03 PM
swey, what's your avatar? if the middle like was at the end it would spell DXM stuck together, dunno if it's that cause i've tried drawing it before.

Thrift Nine
06-21-2004, 02:48 PM
Thats the symbol for Dead Kennedys if im not mistaken.

07-12-2004, 02:09 AM
Dnistrian's mentally handicapped because of bad parenting.