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WASHINGTON — The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association are mobilizing communities to stop prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, the groups announced Monday.
Each October, CADCA and CHPA team up for National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, challenging CADCA's nearly 5,000 community antidrug coalitions across the country to hold a town hall or other educational event about teen prescription and OTC medicine abuse. The goal is to hold events in 50 communities, an annual call to action that is known as the CADCA 50 Challenge. Through this initiative, parents in communities across the country can more easily access the resources they need to prevent their teens from abusing medicine.
"Community coalition leaders across this country have been addressing medicine abuse for many years now in a comprehensive, holistic manner, bringing everyone to the table to help educate parents, protect kids and solve this significant problem," stated Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. "But communities cannot go it alone; they need state and national support — and that's why I'm so proud of our long-standing collaboration with CHPA and their members. Working together, I know we can drive medicine abuse rates down."
CADCA is a partner of CHPA's StopMedicineAbuse campaign, which raises parental awareness about OTC cough medicine abuse. "Parents often have no idea that teens can abuse medicines in their home," CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville said. "By taking an integrated approach that includes mobilizing local communities, educating parents to safeguard their home medicines, and informing teens themselves about the dangers of medicine abuse, we can help curb this teen behavior."
Melville noted that the awareness month is also an opportunity to increase support for the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act of 2012 (S. 3376) that would prohibit the sale of OTC cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to teens under the age of 18.