Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on the Monitoring the Future Findings on Cough Medicine Abuse

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- Following is a statement by Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), regarding today's release of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)'s Monitoring the Future survey, which reported data for the second year on the non-medical use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing dextromethorphan among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students:

"Monitoring the Future is a valuable tool that helps parents and community leaders better understand teen behaviors, and we commend the survey authors for continuing to address cough medicine abuse. This year's survey has some good news for America's parents, showing that the abuse of dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in cough medicine, among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders has not grown. According to the survey, 4, 5.4, and 5.8 percent of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, respectively, reported abusing these OTC medicines to get high. While we are pleased that the cough medicine abuse did not increase among 8th and 10th graders, and actually decreased among 12th graders, our ultimate goal is that our efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of medicine abuse result in a decrease among all age groups.

"These results are evidence that the education efforts of many, including the leading makers of OTC cough medicines, are working at both the national and community levels, but there is still much work to be done. Substance abuse experts tell us, and we agree that education is the most effective way to keep kids from abusing all types of substances, including over-the-counter medicines.

"Within the last few years, we have worked tirelessly to provide educational programming about medicine abuse in the schools, at retail, within law enforcement, in the community, and online. And we've worked with lawmakers to advance legislation to prohibit the sale of dextromethorphan to minors. But our job is far from over.

"CHPA and the makers of over-the-counter cough medicines remain dedicated to building on the successes of our educational programming and are looking forward to the new programming 2008 will bring with our partners, including the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the Parent Teacher Association, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, D.A.R.E. America, and the online Five Moms campaign.

"Our efforts with these groups are all designed to help parents keep their kids drug-free. And we can't do it alone. We need to make sure parents are aware of this type of abuse and most importantly are talking to their kids about the risks involved with abusing cough medicine. Some helpful tips parents of teens should always keep in mind regarding medicine abuse:

1. Educate themselves about the problem of medicine abuse.

2. Talk to their teens about all types of drug abuse, including cough medicine abuse.

3. Safeguard and take a regular inventory of home medicine cabinets.

4. Monitor their teen's Internet use.

5. Seek professional help if they think their child has a substance abuse problem.

"As we approach the new year, we look forward to the promise of continued success of our educational campaigns and will work to ensure that parents have the tools they need to be educated about the dangers surrounding medicine abuse."

CHPA is the 126-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products. For more information about CHPA's cough medicine abuse awareness initiatives, visit

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association