Over-the-Counter Abuse by Teens

For teens, over-the-counter (OTC) drug abuse is the second most popular category of drug use after marijuana.Teen use of over-the-counter drugs has been a rising abuse.  Many parents are oblivious to the fact that their children are buying and overdosing on medications to get “high”.  It is very important for parents to educate themselves about the potential abuse of these products that can be found in the home.  What is more important is to monitor these medications around children.

One very popular OTC drug that is abused is cough/cold medications.  Many of these medications such as Vicks44, Nyquil, Robitussin, and Coricidin contain Dextromethorphan (DMX).  DMX is a synthetic derivative of morphine.  Teenagers have nicknamed these drugs with names such as Robo, Skittles, and Triple C’s just to name a few.  The main reason OTC drugs appeal to teenagers is the the reasonable price and the fact that the drugs are legal.  Other pills that are abused often by teens include diet pills, sleep aids, and motion sickness medication.  All of these drugs can be extremely dangerous, especially when consumed in large doses. 

Many teenagers do not think about the dangers of abusing OTC drugs as they simply see it as a way to get high.  Some effects include addiction, heart palpitations, blackouts, seizures, and even death.  Long term effects include liver and brain damage.

Resources are available to everyone interested in learning more about OTC drug abuse in teens.  Websites offer ways to identify when a teen is abusing drugs.  Teen abuse is becoming more common and more serious everyday.  It is important that information is made available to the public to help prevent future use by teens.

Please join in this discussion by posting your comments below.

For more information, refer to the following websites:






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One Comment on “Over-the-Counter Abuse by Teens”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Thank you for your discussion on this topic. It is one that unfortunately affects many people, not only the teens participating in these dangerous activities, but also their loved ones. The more information out there for people to educate themselves on this subject, the more likely we are to hopefully prevent this from happening to those close to us.

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