Updated 17 April 2015

Youth gets high on cough medicine

About 3.1 million Americans ages 12-25 (5 percent) used cough and cold medicines to get high last year.

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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Professor Keertan Dheda has received several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others. Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute.

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