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Tags: over | counter | drugs | abuse

OTC Drugs Increasingly Abused: Study

Thursday, 03 January 2013 10:08 AM EST

The nation’s war on drugs may be missing a key enemy: Over-the-counter medicines.
A new University of Cincinnati study has found a growing number of young Americans admit to getting high on OTC drugs — such as cough syrup containing Dextromethorphan (DXM), decongestants, and other cold remedies — often brought into the home by parents and grandparents.
The study, presented at recent meeting of the American Public Health Association in San Francisco, indicated adolescent males are at a higher risk of reporting longtime use of over-the-counter drugs than their female peers.
The findings are based on a survey distributed to more than 54,000 students — from 7th to 12th grade — in 133 Greater Cincinnati schools on their OTC drug use. About 10 percent of the students admitted to abusing over-the-counter drugs, with particularly high rates acknowledge by male and female junior high schoolers.
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"Findings from this study highlight and underscore OTC drugs as an increasing and significant health issue affecting young people," said Rebecca Vidourek, a UC assistant professor of health promotion who helped conduct the study.
Vidourek noted OTC abuse can result in unintentional poisoning, seizures, and physical and psychological addictions.
The researchers say that youth who reported involvement in school clubs, sports, community groups, and church organizations were less likely to report abusing OTC medications. Teens who reported taking OTC drugs were more likely to attend parties with the drugs or had friends who abused OTC drugs.

© HealthDay

The nation’s war on drugs may be missing a key enemy: Over-the-counter medicines.
Thursday, 03 January 2013 10:08 AM
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