Pubdate: Tue, 15 Apr 2003
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Kevin Connor


Kids Mixing Over-The-Counter Drugs

Pharmacists need to crack down on the growing problem of kids making 
non-prescription drug cocktails to get high, says a leading druggist.

Kids are going online and finding recipes for mixing over-the-counter 
drugstore products into potions to get stoned -- and it's landing too many 
of them in emergency wards, said Donnie Edwards, a board member with the 
Ontario Pharmacists Association, yesterday.

Edwards is urging pharmacists to get into the schools and tell kids how 
dangerous recreational non-prescription drug use can be.

"Education is the key," he said.

'It's Quite Scary'

Pills containing codeine are being crushed and snorted or mixed with water 
and injected, Edwards said.

Gravol, for instance, is being taken in large quantities as a hallucinogen. 
Combinations of sleeping aids and cold remedies are also used to get a high.

Abusing over-the-counter drugs can cause heart problems, breathing troubles 
and even comas, he said.

"They are cheap and easily accessible. Non-prescription doesn't mean it's 
safe. It's quite scary what some kids will do. One kids does it and the 
next kid wants to try it," Edwards said.

It's a dangerous problem, said Eva Janecek, of the Addiction Research 

"You can overdose on antihistamines and die," she said. "These products 
shouldn't be so openly displayed."

Pharmacists should ask why a youngster is buying non-prescription drugs, 
said Jeff Greenstein, druggist at Beech Pharmacy in the Beaches.

"Abusing these drugs can cause serious depression. That's the last thing 
you want in an adolescent, with all the things they already have to deal 
with," Greenstein said.

"These are potent drugs. You need caution. Parents need to talk to their 
kids and know what is in their medicine cabinet."
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