Pubdate: Sat, 30 Dec 2006
Source: Ledger, The (Lakeland, FL)
Copyright: 2006 The Ledger
Author: Linda A. Suydam


As the article by Christopher Lee outlined, we need to do more to
protect our kids from cough-medicine abuse ["Teens Turn to Medicine
Cabinets to Get High," Friday]. The Monitoring the Future survey Lee
referenced found that that 4.2 percent of eighth-graders, 5.3 percent
of 10th-graders and 6.9 percent of 12th-graders have abused cough
medicine in some form over the past year. It's time to teach kids -
and their parents, who may be unaware of their teen's activities -
about the dangers of abusing these otherwise safe medicines.

The good news is that teens who talk about drugs with their parents
are half as likely to use them, but parents can't do it alone. As the
makers of cough medicines, we are empowering parents to talk to their
kids about the dangers of medicine abuse, safeguard the medicines in
their home and recognize the signs of abuse.

To help prevent or stop teen medicine abuse, parents

Educate themselves about the problem of teens looking to otherwise
safe and beneficial products, such as medications, as a means to a
high and know the warning signs.

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

Safeguard their medicine cabinets, and know what products they have
and how many.

Monitor their teens' Internet use.

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

With this in mind, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA)
is taking the lead in educating parents about this preventable abuse
problem and empowering them to take action.

To learn more about how to determine if this dangerous behavior is
taking place under your roof, visit the Partnership for a Drug-Free
America web site at

Together, we can put a stop to this disturbing trend so that the next
time we "monitor the future," the future looks brighter for our
children. To learn more about these efforts, visit www.chpa- tm.

Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A.

President, Consumer Healthcare Products Association,

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