Though over-the-counter medication makes healthcare more accessible, giving people such easy access to drugs certainly comes with serious risks.
Prescription and OTC drug abuse is not limited to America. A United Nations group recently reported this problem is quickly passing the abuse of all illegal drugs worldwide.
The main reason licit drugs are gaining popularity among the youth is the ease of access, as these are widely available in drug stores, grocery stores and home medicine cabinets.
A growing and unfortunate trend today involves the abuse of over the counter medications. Within the entire population of those who abuse over the counter medications the largest segment represented are adolescents. There are many different reasons teenagers choose to abuse over the counter medications.
Pharmacists do play an essential role in counseling patients. Pharmacist vigilance can help reduce OTC medication abuse. The current health care system calls for more regulation on OTC medications, especially those with identified abuse potential. We need to strike a balance between providing the required access to medications and at the same time managing the risk of OTC medication abuse.
One of the fastest growing types of drugs abused by teens today is over-the-counter (OTC) medications. These medications are readily available, inexpensive, and perceived by many teens to be perfectly safe.
Parents have long worried whether their kids at college are drinking too much or getting stoned. But alcohol and marijuana aren't the only substances they should be concerned about: In recent years, a growing number of young people have begun abusing prescription opiates.
Looking in your medicine cabinet at home, what would you find? Most likely a bottle of Tylenol, perhaps some ibuprofen.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines like painkillers and cold medicines are generally safe when used as intended. But if your teen takes them in large doses to get high, they can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Some young people abuse cough medicines containing dextromethorphan, among other drugs. Get the facts on this disturbing trend.
Abuse of OTC medicines is most common among teens between the ages of 13 and 16. They know they might find a cheap high right in their family’s medicine cabinet, often without being caught. But young adults have also abused OTC medicines, particularly in combination with other medicines, alcohol, and illegal drugs, which increases the risks.
KnowYourOTCs.org is a consumer resource provided by the CHPA Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible use of consumer healthcare products. KnowYourOTCs.org is designed to give consumers the information and tools they need to safely use, store, and dispose of consumer healthcare products.
The abuse of OTC drugs by teens is largely with cough and cold medicines that contain dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high. Some young people are also abusing laxatives, diuretics and diet pills to control their weight. Some herbal or “natural” products can be just as dangerous as diet pills because they act like a stimulant on the nervous system
The Medicine Abuse Project aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine within five years.
The most commonly abused OTC drugs include those that contain the ingredient DXM (dextromethorphan), which is used to treat cough, cold and flu symptoms. Also, OTC medications believed to help with weight loss–like laxatives, diuretics and diet pills-are often abused. All of these medications can have serious and potentially fatal side effects over time.
Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused–that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.
Lock Your Meds® is a national multi-media campaign designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are the “unwitting suppliers” of prescription medications being used in unintended ways, especially by young people.