Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Parent Alert: Cough Medicine

Dr. Drew's Tips For Talking To Your Teen

(NAPSI)-Cough medicine abuse can touch any family. Even if your teens don't have an issue, they live in a world where the issue exists. While cough medicines containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, are safe and effective when used as directed, they can be dangerous when abused in extreme amounts to get high.

The key to prevention is education and talking about the dangers of abuse. To help parents have a conversation about cough medicine abuse, Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of the popular radio show "Loveline" and the star of VH1 hits "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" and "Sober House," offers parents this advice about starting the discussion with your teens about cough medicine abuse:

1. It is never too early to bring this up with your teenagers. Any opportunity to discuss it is a good opportunity.

2. Do not worry about violating your teenager's trust. Trust must be verified. Bring it up.

3. A good time to talk about difficult issues with your teenagers is in the car. You are both looking forward, it isn't as intense as eyeball to eyeball, so you can throw stuff out and see how your teenager responds.

4. If your teenager refuses to talk to you, one approach is to talk to one of his or her peers with your teenager present. Triangulate the conversation so your teenager has the opportunity to hear your point of view while you discuss it with one of his or her peers.

5. Remember that hormonal variations, particularly during the teen years, can affect their receptivity to conversations. A good time to talk, particularly to younger females, is in the evening hours after 9 PM. Head up to your teenager's room, sit down and bring up this topic.

"Parents have far more power than they realize to keep their kids drug-free. Kids who learn about the dangers of drug abuse from their parents are half as likely to have an issue," said Dr. Drew. "Parents should visit www.StopMedicineAbuse.org to get educated and get talking to their teens."

Parents can also look for a new educational icon on the packaging of a majority of OTC cough medicines. The icon serves as a mini public service announcement for parents, making them aware of the issue of cough medicine abuse among teens and pointing them to www.StopMedicineAbuse.org, where they can access resources they need to talk to their teen about the issue.

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