Parent Testimonials Video

Cough Syrup Abuse

Although it may not seem like something users would abuse, cough syrup abuse has become a major issue in recent years, especially with younger users, and high school students, due to the ease of getting hold of cough syrup. The most common way that cough syrup abuse comes about is when teens mix it with soda or some type of sweetener, and they will overdose on the cough syrup, making for a very lethal combination if it is ingested in too high a quantity, especially in a short period of time. Many manufacturers of cough syrups have been putting more warnings on labels, have been removing the more dangerous ingredients, and have been requiring a prescription (or placing their products behind the pharmacy counter, rather than being sold as an over the counter medication where anyone can walk in and buy it), due to the cough syrup abuse which has been going on in recent years. Although it does not seem like the first choice to get high or abuse, there are extremely addictive ingredients in cough syrups, and due to the overdose and drinking more than is prescribed, many children and young adults who do take the cough syrup claims it gives them a high which is similar to that which they get by taking other illegal drugs.

Why cough syrup abuse is present -
One of the main reasons that cough syrup abuse is a major issue is due to the fact that it is so readily available, and in many stores can be purchased by anyone. The fact that you do not need a prescription, the fact that children can purchase it in many stores, and the availability of the cough syrup, which can be purchased pretty much anywhere, makes it a perfect product to abuse. Although many retailers are now locking up the cough syrup, and either requiring a prescription, or a proof of ID (that the buyer is a certain age, usually at least 18), there are still many retailers and pharmacies where anyone can walk in, pick up a few bottles, and purchase them at a checkout lane, without having to show ID, and without needing a prescription to purchase. This not only leads to the cough syrup abuse which is taking place, but it also leads to young children becoming addicted to these chemicals and ingredients, which makes it far easier for them to become addicted to other drugs (illegal as well as prescription medications). If there is a way for children to get high, they are going to turn to it; therefore, the cough syrup abuse is going to continue until stricter guidelines are put in place, and as long as it is readily available, it is going to be abused by those who want to abuse it.

Effects of cough syrup abuse -
Although it is not as bad as illegal drugs, if cough syrup abuse is high enough in the quantity being ingested, and if children are getting high off these medications on a regular basis (as many are), the results can be fatal. Due to the very addictive nature of cough syrups (due to the fact that it is similar to a pain killer, and alleviates pain), and due to the fact that there is a certain level of alcohol content in all cough syrups, many kids will not only get high, but are turning to cough syrup abuse to get drunk. Especially younger individuals who have not built up an immunity to alcohol in their system, the limited amounts of alcohol in cough syrup, if ingested in a high enough quantity, can cause an individual to get drunk fairly quickly; especially if they do not have an immunity to alcohol in their body. Many of the effects are going to be: rapid heartbeat, the chills and cold sweats, increased heart rate, and other effects which are similar in the effects with other illegal drugs out there. So, although cough syrup abuse does not seem as if it could do any harm, if the individuals are younger, and do not have any type of immunity built up in their system, it is something that can be extremely addictive, and over time, can really cause damage to the child.

How to stop cough syrup abuse -
Although there are no guarantees that cough syrup abuse will be stopped, due to the nature of children (as well as certain adults), and their ability to get their hands on it, there are certain things which can be done in order to cut back on the abuse of the syrup. First off, pharmacies can place the cough syrup behind the counter, and require that an adult purchase it (or someone over 18), and they can limit the amounts being purchased by each individual, as well as require a prescription for many of the cough syrups. Another way to cut back on the cough syrup abuse is for all non prescription companies to place warnings, as well as start requiring a prescription for these medication; not all companies will, but if the cough syrup is harder to purchase, and harder to get your hands on, the cough syrup abuse is going to die down as well. As far as parents are concerned, making sure you know what your kids are doing, and that they are not engaged in using these medications to get a high, is something that will help decrease the cough syrup abuse as well.

As with all other drugs, illegal or legal, individuals are going to find a way to abuse the system. But if certain parameters are set in place, and if the cough syrup is harder to purchase for younger adults, especially the ones who are most likely to engage in cough syrup abuse, then it will decrease. Although it is not going to end, there are certain things which can be done in order to limit the cough syrup abuse which is taking place amongst younger and teenage kids in the US and world wide.