Over-the-counter drug abuse

Just because you can purchase the medicine in the grocery or drug store doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. In fact, quite a few of these drugs are abused by teens.

Parents, it’s better safe than sorry.

The most-abused drug among over-the-counter abusers is cough medicines and syrups. The active ingredient, dextromethorphan or DXM, causes an increase in dopamine released into the brain. The result can be a pleasurable or “disassociative” feeling, but can also lead to a serious addiction.

Want to learn more about the abuse of cough medicines? Visit NIDA for teens, which details not only what DXM does and how it can harm, but also what to do if you believe you know someone who needs help.

Remember, there is the potential for abuse – and harm – from just about any drug.