The Dextroverse

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Default 06-28-2007, 03:17 AM

A month after Suffolk County lawmakers approved a landmark ban on selling many non-prescription cough and cold medicines to minors, the City Council Thursday will consider an even tougher law that would require stores to keep the remedies behind the counter.

The Council proposal, aimed at preventing teenagers from abusing cold medicines, would prohibit anyone younger than 18 from buying medications that contain the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, and make it impossible for all consumers to buy them without asking a store clerk.

By comparison, the Suffolk law, approved in May, bans such sales to anyone under 19 and does not require that stores remove the medicines from public display. Stores would be subject to fines of up to $750 for repeated violations.

"It's just too easy for kids to get -- they shouldn't be able to go into a store and buy three or four or five bottles of cough medicine at once like a pack of gum," said Bronx Councilwoman Maria Baez, who co-sponsored the bill. The Council's Health Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposal this afternoon, but no decision is expected.

Sparked by increasing evidence that teenagers are abusing cold medicines, several states are considering legislation that would restrict the sale of products that contain dextromethorphan, also known as DXM.

But Suffolk's ban is believed to be the first in the nation. It will take effect in four to five months.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America study found that in 2005, an estimated 2.4 million teenagers got high using cough or cold medicine -- a practice commonly referred to as "robotripping" or "skittling." More than 150 common cold medicines contain DXM, which can cause psychosis, brain damage or even death when taken in very large doses.

"I just kept hearing about more and more overdoses," said Suffolk Legis. Lynne Nowick (R-St. James), who sponsored the county's ban and has advised city officials on the Council proposal. "I think if New York City does this, it will take things up a notch or two and bring a lot of attention to this."

Although some stores, such as Rite-Aid, Walgreens and Costco, are voluntarily policing the sale of cold medicine to younger customers, a retail group that represents supermarkets in New York state says that the City Council proposal goes too far by taking cold medicine off public shelves.

"A small store might not have the space to put every single product behind the counter, or have a pharmacy that isn't open as many hours," said Pat Brodhagen, of the Food Industry Alliance of New York, noting that more than 150 common cold and cough remedies contain DXM.

Besides, removing cold medicine from the shelves would make it difficult for adults to read labels and compare ingredients in several different medications before buying -- a potential health risk, she said.

Council Health Committee Chairman Joel Rivera of the Bronx said exactly how the city limits teenagers' access to DXM is up for negotiation.

"The core problem and the core goal are that we know that people are abusing cold medicine and we want to limit that," Rivera said. "This is about finding the most effective to do that."
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Kang Offline
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Default 06-28-2007, 03:38 PM

I pray to the gods of tussin that this doesn't catch on. to Suffolk Legislators.

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Default 06-30-2007, 03:08 AM

It's only a matter of time before legislation like that appears everywhere. The retail giants are taking it upon themselves to limit sales of certain things to minors, DXM included... I've been carded for several things...
Robitussin, Zicam, Superglue,Fuel Injector Cleaner

Pharmacies are doing it too, however, I only have been carded at the RX in two states, Tennessee and Michigan...

And though this is a bummer, I have worse fears that if they can't come up with a solution that suits the powers that be, the pharmaceutical companies will be scrambling for another OTC alternative for cough suppression and we will watch DXM move to prescription (worst case scenario of course)

They put phenylephrine in place of pseudoephedrine and its virtually useless.. I would not put it past them to do this with DXM... most drugs that are currently exhiled from existence were at one time available right at the pharmacy on the shelf...

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zion Offline
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Default 07-08-2007, 04:26 AM

i want to know why they don't just say cough medicine.... they always say cold medicine.

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Default 07-09-2007, 01:44 AM

Originally posted by zion@Jul 8 2007, 03:26 AM
i want to know why they don't just say cough medicine.... they always say cold medicine.
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