CHPA Commends Senator Biden on Legislation Aimed at Curbing Medicine-Abuse Trend

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Initiative is major step in stopping cough medicine abuse among teens.

Today, Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.), introduced the Dextromethorphan Abuse Reduction Act of 2007, which would prevent teens under the age of 18 from purchasing cough medicines containing dextromethorphan while providing federal funding to two key anti-drug groups that are working to educate families about the dangers of cough medicine abuse. Following is a statement by Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), on the bill’s introduction:

“CHPA commends Senator Biden and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) for their recent congressional effort to address the problem of teens abusing medicines to get high. The trend of teens looking to the medicine cabinet to get high with prescription and over-the-counter medicines is very troubling. The leading makers of OTC cough medicines have been working to raise awareness about this problem and are pleased to see such strong leadership from the U.S. Senate on this issue. National age restrictions and increased funding for education and outreach would complement efforts underway by CHPA and its partners to protect America’s youth from the serious threat of medicine abuse and underscores the integral role that parents have in educating their children about the dangers associated with medicine abuse. Parents are the most effective tool we have in addressing this problem and the funding provided in this bill for education and prevention is a testament to the importance of education in preventing substance abuse.

“As the makers of over-the-counter medicines, we take very seriously the abuse of our medicines and remain committed to effectively addressing this dangerous problem. While national age restrictions will serve as a major step forward in reducing teen medicine abuse, education is still paramount to preventing its abuse. As the makers of over-the-counter medicines, we are spearheading several major campaigns to raise awareness of dextromethorphan abuse, including the comprehensive web site, http://www.StopMedicineAbuse.org. We are proud to be working with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E America in these efforts.

“Our work includes English- and Spanish-language educational resources for parents and community leaders, an online campaign (http://www.FiveMoms.com) geared specifically toward parental awareness, public service announcements and web sites for both parents and teens. We are committed to educating and empowering parents to take responsibility and action by learning about cough medicine abuse, talking to their kids about the dangers of abusing medicines, and paying attention to the medicines in their homes.”

Note: All of CHPA’s initiatives to stop cough medicine abuse by teens are summarized online at http://www.StopMedicineAbuse.org.

CHPA is the 126-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.

http://www.chpa-info.org

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