October is a lot of things (more on that this month) but know it’s National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and there’s a big push to both educate parents on signs of over-the-counter (OTC) medicine abuse and encourage parents to talk with teens about the risks of using medications as recreational drugs.

Thing is, approximately 1 in 25 teens reports abusing excessive amounts of Dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high. DXM is a safe ingredient found in more than 100 OTC medicines. It’s typically found in cough suppressants or medicines for cough and colds. Because it’s a stimulant, when DXM is consumed in excess it can cause a rapid heart beat, vomiting, stomach pain, hallucinations, confusion, and loss of motor control. It also can induce a high — hence why teens experiment with it.

Read the full post on SeattleMamaDoc.com. Dr. Swanson’s article originally appeared in Teens And Medicine Abuse, A Bad Rap?



Our Expert

Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D.

KnowYourOTCs.org Blogger Ambassador and Medical Adviser

Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, is a pediatrician, mother to two young boys, and the author of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Seattle Mama Doc Blog, the first pediatrician-authored blog for a major children's hospital. She is regularly quoted as an expert for The New York Times, USA Today, and the TODAY show. She works diligently to offer parents relevant, practical, and timely health information, and she believes that a growing community of online physicians can empower parents and patients to make informed decisions based on science. Her book, Mama Doc Medicine, was recognized as a Gold Award Recipient by the Mom’s Choice Awards. Dr. Swanson is also the founder and executive director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s. She is an executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media and is on the boards of both Parents magazine and the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. A practicing pediatrician with The Everett Clinic, Dr. Swanson is also an advocate on the topic of vaccines and was named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion in 2012. She was named to TIME Magazine's Best Twitter Feeds of 2013. She can be found on Twitter (@SeattleMamaDoc) and Facebook.