Birmingham Maple Clinic Reports Teens and Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse on the Rise

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Teen boys are more likely to abuse over the counter (OTC) drugs than girls, although use among both groups has increased.

Common medications for colds and other conditions that parents may think are safe can be extremely dangerous to teens who abuse them.

Michigan mental health providers at the Birmingham Maple Clinic recently discussed the results of a University of Cincinnati study, which suggested that teen boys are more likely then teen girls to abuse over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, including cough syrup and decongestants. The clinic, which treats a variety of mental health conditions, including adult and teen drug addiction, reported that the UC study is an important reminder to parents that drug addiction has many different forms. Lori Edelson, therapist at the Birmingham Maple Clinic said, “UC’s research should raise an alarm with parents who have teenage children in the house. Common medications for colds and other conditions that parents may think are safe can be extremely dangerous to teens who abuse them.”

In the study, among a sample of 7th-12th graders in 133 schools across the Greater Cincinnati area, an alarming 10% reported current or past abuse of OTC drugs, and the majority of those respondents were male. Young people who reported more involvement with extra-curricular activities, however, including sports and involvement in church groups, reported lower rates of drug abuse.

The mental health providers at the Birmingham Maple Clinic provide a wide range of mental health services in Michigan, including treatment for drug addiction, at the clinic’s state of the art facility in Troy. The team treats drug addiction among teens and adults through a personalized approach with a professional team of experts. Edelson said, “Getting the message out that OTC drug abuse is on the rise with teens is an important lesson that parents need to hear.” The UC study cites accidental overdose, psychological and physical addiction and seizure as common consequences of OTC drug abuse in teens, providing good reason for parents to think twice about storing medicines in an accessible area.

Birmingham Maple Clinic has been specializing in mental health services in Michigan for over 40 years, providing services for individuals, couples, families, groups and the community. The clinic provides treatment for a variety of psychological conditions, including child and adult ADHD, anxiety and panic disorders, chronic illness, depression, grief and loss, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and marriage, family and relationship counseling. For more information, please visit birminghammaple.com.

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Lori Edelson