Over the Counter Drug Abuse
While most parents have warned their children about the dangers of using illicit street drugs, the problem of over the counter drug abuse has been growing. Even young children will try something they find in the medicine cabinet to get a quick high, and this type of over the counter drug abuse can be very dangerous. The most commonly abused over the counter drugs are common cough medications. More than 125 of these products contain dextromethorphan (DXM) which when taken in regular doses is not dangerous. However, when misused, the consequences can be devastating.
The results of the over the counter drug abuse of DXM can range from nausea and loss of coordination to seizures, brain damage, and even death. The initial signs to look for in over the counter drug abuse are similar to those of other drug abuse. Children may start to exhibit unusual mood swings and grades may begin to suffer. They can also start losing interest in many of their regular activities, If parents notice that children are taking large amounts of cough medication, find a stash of such medication hidden the their rooms, or notice the medicines missing from their normal location then the misuse of the medications is obvious.
The problem of over the counter drug abuse is treated just like any other drug abuse problem. The over the counter products are just as addictive and the child who is abusing these drugs must receive some type of comprehensive drug rehabilitation. This can be done on an out patient basis, or in more serious cases with in patient care at a good rehab center. The rehab program is designed to treat more than just the symptoms. It goes to the root causes of the problem and teaches the child both the dangers of the use of the drugs and addresses the reason for their use. Parents must be willing to take such steps.
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