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WASHINGTON — The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday collaborated to spread awareness about over-the-counter cough medicine abuse among parents and communities in recognition of annual National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.
“As the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, CADCA is deeply concerned about the misuse and abuse of medicines — whether prescription or over-the-counter,” stated Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “Too many young people are seeking out these substances as a means to get high without realizing the devastating impact medicine abuse can have on their lives. National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will help educate families across America about the dangers of abusing medicines and spur communities into action.”
Every October, the organizations encourage communities to take part in helping to raise awareness about abuse of prescription medicine, as well as OTC medicine containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which teens abuse in excessive amounts in pursuit of a high.
In preparation of the month, CADCA urges its membership to plan and promote an educational event — such as a town hall meeting for parents, youth and community advocates — to educate them on the potential dangers associated with medicine abuse and to discuss prevention, intervention strategies and treatment. Additional suggestions for how coalitions can take part are found on CADCA’s website.
During this month, the associations also are focused on increasing support for the passage of the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644) introduced by U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
“We are grateful to CADCA coalitions for being the boots on the ground and fighting this abuse on the community level, where a difference can be made one teen at a time,” said Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. “Thanks to the dedication of CADCA coalitions, communities across the country are reaching parents about OTC cough medicine abuse — a dangerous behavior that often flies under parents’ radar screens.”
CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s Stop Medicine Abuse campaign, which works to inform parents of the behavior and encourages them to talk to their teens, safeguard their medicines and spread the word in their communities.