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Declines in OTC abuse

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The National Institute on Drug Abuse's 2008 Monitoring the Future survey of teenage drug use shows a drop in dextromethorpan-containing OTC cough medicine abuse by 8th- and 12th-graders, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association says Dec. 11. CHPA President Linda A. Suydam notes the trade group and OTC cough medicine makers "are engaged in a multi-pronged public health education campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of medicine abuse." CHPA also supports enacting a federal law to bar consumers younger than 18 from purchasing DXM OTCs (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 3, 2008, In Brief). The University of Michigan, which conducts the survey, says campaigns against DXM misuse "have proven somewhat successful, though certainly not entirely so.

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Results from the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Monitoring the Future survey for 2009 show little change since 2006 in the rate teens are abusing OTC cough/cold products, such as dextromethorphan-containing cough medicine. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association notes while there has not been an increase, the findings serve "as a reminder of the importance of education and talking to teens about the dangers" of OTC drug abuse. The survey is conducted by the University of Michigan (1"The Tan Sheet" Dec. 22, 2008, In Brief)

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