Makers of cough medicines warn of abuse

WASHINGTON – Teen abuse of cough medicines is a more serious problem than many parents realize, manufacturers of the over-the-counter drugs said last week in unveiling a campaign meant to warn them.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America estimates one in 10 youths have used cough medicines made with dextromethorphan to get high. Ingesting huge amounts of the cough suppressant can produce a hallucinogenic high – along with side effects that include vomiting and rapid heartbeat.

However, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America said a survey of its members suggested the drug abuse foes don’t think parents recognize abuse of over-the-counter medicines as a youth problem.

The group and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents manufacturers of the medicines, created a Web site. www.doseofprevention.com. to build awareness of the problem. Their campaign also includes public service announcements.

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