Oregon passes DXM age restriction law

WASHINGTON — To combat teen abuse of over-the-counter medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Thursday signed legislation prohibiting the sale of DXM-containing products to minors.

The move makes Oregon the 14th state to pass an age-18 sales law, joining states across the country in recognizing that limiting teen access to DXM is a proven way to prevent abuse, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

"CHPA has long supported state efforts to limit teen access to DXM.”

“Public policy and education are both vitally important to combating teen OTC cough medicine abuse,” stated Scott Melville, president and CEO CHPA. “This is why CHPA has long supported state efforts to limit teen access to DXM and has worked to increase parental awareness through its StopMedicineAbuse.org campaign. This new law will help raise awareness about the issue with parents, while ensuring access for the millions of families who responsibly use products containing DXM to treat common cough symptoms.”

While millions of Americans use products containing DXM to safely treat their symptoms, according to the 2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse annual Monitoring the Future survey, one in 30 teens abuse OTC cough medicine containing DXM to get high.

In 2012, California became the first state to prohibit sales to minors. Since then, governors from Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and most recently Nevada, have all signed similar laws.

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