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Post Cough medicine abuse on rise among kids; nurses try to get word out to parents - Joli - 05-06-2010, 08:00 PM

Cough medicine abuse on rise among kids; nurses try to get word out to parents - Joliet Herald News
05-06-2010 01:06 AM

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Default 05-08-2010, 12:43 PM

An OTC hallucinogenic high
Cough medicine abuse on rise among kids; nurses try to get word out to parents
It goes by a variety of names in the schoolyard, including Robo, Skittles, Dex and Triple C. In large doses it can produce a hallucinogenic high. And chances are your teenager is familiar with it.

Known technically as dextromethorphan, DXM for short, it's the active cough-suppressant ingredient in cough medicine.
Click to enlarge image
Cough medicine is safe when taken in recommended dosages, but some kids are taking 25 to 50 times the recommended amount needed in order to get high.
(File photo)

Indicators of abuse

Possible warning signs that your child may be abusing cough medicine:

Empty cough medicine bottles in the trash or in your child's room, or bottles missing from the medicine cabinet.

Visiting pro-drug Web sites that provide information on how to abuse dextromethorphan (DXM) and other substances.

Changes in friends, physical appearance, or sleeping or eating patterns.

Declining grades.

Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities.

Hostile, uncooperative attitude.

Unexplained disappearance of household money.

Unusual chemical or medicinal smells on your child or in his or her room.

Hearing your child use certain slang terms, such as Skittling, Tussing, Robo-Tripping, Triple Cs and Dex.


And school nurses across the country have launched an initiative called "Home to Homeroom" to educate parents and teachers about its danger.

According to studies cited by the National Association of School Nurses, 6 percent of high school teens admit to having abused cough medicine in the past year, and 33 percent of high school teens say they know someone who has abused cough medicine.

While parents have become increasingly aware of the risks associated with prescription drug abuse, they are not necessarily aware that over-the-counter products also can be abused.

"Our main purpose is to get word out that this is happening," said Cameron Traut, a school nurse at Libertyville High School. "Some parents just aren't aware of it, and this gives us another tool to create awareness."

Traut has been a school nurse for 15 years. She can vouch for the fact that cough medicine abuse is a real and present danger among high school students.

"Yes, it is happening in schools today," she said. "I wanted to be on board with this initiative and help get the information out there. Parents need to talk to their kids about this. Not just a one-shot talk, either. The relationship needs to be there. Do the children understand the consequences of abusing cough medicine?"

More and more high school kids are learning about the drug - and its promised high - online. Can middle school kids be far behind?

"The studies give figures for high school, but, as we all know, younger kids search the Internet and copy their friends," nurses association executive director Amy Garcia said.

While cough medicine is safe when taken in recommended dosages, kids are taking 25 to 50 times the recommended amount in order to get high. And when cough medicine is taken in high doses, it can produce side effects including delusions, panic attacks, memory problems, blurred vision, stomach pain, vomiting, high blood pressure and rapid heartbeats, numbness in fingers and toes, drowsiness and dizziness, fever and headaches, rashes, loss of consciousness and even death.

"We want parents to know about this problem," Garcia said. "We want people to be willing to learn about it, and talk to their kids about it."

According to the association, kids who have ongoing conversations with their parents about medicine abuse are 50 percent less likely to abuse.

The school nurses association, which has teamed with the Consumer Health Care Product Association on the initiative, encourages parents to visit the Web site to find information about DXM, including a downloadable brochure.

"Parents should learn about it, talk to their kids about it, talk to the school nurse about it," Garcia said.
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Default 05-08-2010, 01:06 PM

I don't really care expect I will say that's the first time I've seen a warning about pro-drug websites in one of these generic types of articles.

If these parents are so concerned, why do they let them get an education because that's what causes people to know what drugs are. We have to stop drug use. By preventing children from having an education, they won't know what drugs are!

The DV is boring
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Randolph Carter Offline
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Default 05-08-2010, 03:09 PM

Do the children understand the consequences of abusing cough medicine?"
Do you miss lady-man?

I don't know what is more frustrating, the knee-jerk reaction from ignorant adults or the rebellious, self-destructive tendencies of the youth that results from their parents/teachers ignorance.

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