over the counter drug abuse

Parents of today have a lot to worry about. The most disturbing one is drug abuse by kids. It is not about cigarettes and alcohol anymore. It is not even the about the likes of marijuana and any other drug that can influence the brain. Kids have a hard time accessing such illegal drugs. The bad news is, hard-to-reach drugs doesn’t keep them safe from drug abuse.

Drug abusers are now dependent on anything that can influence their brain and body to function the way they like it and nothing comes in handy as an over the counter prescription drug. Parents of today, can’t claim their kids are safe with drugs in their unlocked cabinets and drawers.

According to US government’s survey, up to 3.1 million young adults aged between 12-25 are claimed to have tried over the counter prescription drugs such as the ones intended for cold and coughs. Teens of today are abusing drugs such as cough syrups to see hallucinations.

over the counter drug abuse

In 2006, another study was carried out to investigate the matter. The study focussed on the abuse of OTC drugs by young people. It also targeted up to 45 thousand interviews with young people aged within 12 to 25.

The results were shocking for many parents and acted as a warning to parents who don’t mind where they keep their medicines. Among the culprits are parents who leave their medicine in open cabinets where they can be easily accessed by kids. It also important for the young people to know the risks of taking over the counter drugs for purposes they are not intended for.

Studies reveal that those fond of misusing such drugs are young adults and kids in the adolescent stage. Over the counter drug abuse isn’t a new thing. What remained undisclosed was the kind of people who are more often involved. The study by the US government was a finding; most wouldn’t believe. However, the survey results haven’t touched anything on whether over the counter drug abuse is constant, decreasing or decreasing.

Among the top three over the counter drugs that are abused include, Coricidin, Robitussin and lastly, NyQuil. It was realised that coughs and cold medicines have a certain chemical called dextromethorphan often abbreviated as DXM that the young adults are fond of. You will find this substance in up to 140 cold and cough drugs that are availed without prescription in the US.

If taken as prescribed, DXM should not be harmful in any way. However, if larger doses that are not prescribed are taken, it can lead to hallucinations or anything close. An overdose may also result in vomiting, irregular heartbeat, delirium or even worse, death. So, the only way to stay safe is to take the dosage prescribed by a doctor.

The Bottom Line

Every drug should be safe, but only when taken in the right dosage. Taking larger dosage may give you the hallucinations and the feelings you desire, but the end results can be ugly. For parents with kids, it starts at home and the only way to ensure it doesn’t happen is to keep your over the counter drugs away from your kids’ reach.


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