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Over the Counter Drug Abuse Why it May Not Be Taken Seriously


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Often we think because a drug is over the counter, it isn't subject to being abused due to the fact no prescription is required. Sadly, if you go to teen sites or different social networking sites, many teens will brag about which over the counter drugs they take to get high. It's been in the news that people go to drug stores to get cough medicine products with dextromethorphan in order to get an altered sense of reality. What is scary about this is that the recommended quantity is overlooked as well as often the urge to vomit which is the body's healthy response to overdoing a medication.

Teens find they can afford cough medicine but don't seem to read up on the possible side effects of doing this such as excessive heart rate and possible seizures. This type of high is an addiction but due it being “legal" and available without a script, it gets treated as no infraction by many teens and college students that experiment.

Because DMX is not pot, cocaine or ecstasy it seems to be no biggie, but nothing can be further from the truth. People now are going to rehab for dmx or dextromethorphan abuse as well as other abuse of over the counter drugs. Don't forget that this ingredient is in over one hundred cough formulas that are otc.

Keep a look out if your child is showing poor judgment, less concentration with school and seems to have furtive and secretive activity. Teens may like dmx and this form of over the counter addiction due to the problems of teen self-consciousness which the drug can help them forget. With the ease of internet communication and texting, it's easy to become exposed to various influences without having time to evaluate them.

The bigger question is what leads someone to seek out the high from otc drugs. For some it is wanting a new experience. For others it can be peer approval, boredom, interpersonal relationship issues, worries about college or family issues. Communication with your child is important to help open up some of the areas. If your child is very closed in terms of talk, high schools and colleges have counselors on staff and this can be brought up in a way that won't make them defensive. I find by telling my nephew that I found it helpful to have counseling, that this helped get rid of the sense of stigma he had about talking to someone.

Dee Cohen is a licensed social worker and runs at a site at Over the Counter Drug Abuse where you can visit and learn more about taking care of yourself at


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