WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution naming October as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. The resolution was sponsored by Sens. Diane Feinstein, D.-Calif., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and urges communities to carry out programs and activities to educate parents and youth of the potential dangers associated with medicine abuse.
“While over-the-counter and prescription medicines are safe and necessary when used properly, too many teens are abusing these drugs to get high," stated Gen. Arthur Dean, chairman and CEO of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. "That’s why we commend the U.S. Senate for passing this important resolution.”
Over the course of October, CADCA coalitions across the United States will be holding events to educate their communities about the dangers of medicine abuse and to discuss solutions to the problem. "These grassroots efforts can spur a nationwide dialogue about prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse in communities and among families across the country," Dean said.
CADCA is a partner of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association's StopMedicineAbuse campaign to increase parental awareness of teen abuse of OTC cough medicines containing dextromethorphan. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey, approximately 5% of teens have abused these medicines — sometimes as much as 25 times the recommended dose — to get high.
“Over-the-counter cough medicine abuse is a behavior that often goes undetected by parents," CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville said. "The mission of our StopMedicineAbuse campaign is to educate parents about this issue and to encourage them to talk to their teens and to safeguard their medicines. We thank the Senate for bringing medicine abuse to the national forefront so that we can all work together to raise awareness."