Youth gets high on cough medicine

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About 3.1 million Americans ages 12-25 (5 percent) used cough and cold medicines to get high last year, according to a federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report.

That's about the same number of young people who used LSD and many more than the number who used methamphetamine, said the agency's 2006 report on drug abuse and health.

More than 140 over-the-counter cough and cold medicines contain the cough suppressant DXM that, when taken in large amounts, can cause disorientation, slurred speech, blurred vision and vomiting, the Associated Press reported.

"While increasing attention has been paid to the public health risk of prescription drug abuse, we also need to be aware of the growing dangers of misuse of the over-the-counter cough and cold medications, especially among young people," said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, the AP reported. - (HealthDay News)

Read more:
New law for kids' medicine
Dangers of over-the-counter drugs

January 2008

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