CHPA and CADCA Commend Senators Biden and Grassley on National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month Initiative

2008-07-17 10:30:00

    Announce nationwide town hall meetings as part of educational effort



    WASHINGTON, July 17 /EMWNews/ -- The Consumer Healthcare

Products Association (CHPA) and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of

America (CADCA) are pleased to lend their support to S.Res. 614, a U.S.

Senate resolution designating August as National Medicine Abuse Awareness

Month. Sponsored by Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.) and Senator

Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), this initiative calls for community

involvement and participation in efforts to educate parents about the

dangers of medicine abuse among teens.



    Recent studies have spotlighted medicine abuse, including the abuse of

over-the-counter cough medicines, as an alarming trend among young people.

Where OTC cough medicines are concerned, some teens are intentionally

taking excessive amounts--sometimes up to 50 times the recommended dose--to

get "high" from the active ingredient dextromethorphan. When used

correctly, dextromethorphan-containing medicines have a 50-year history of

being safe and effective. But when abused in extreme excess,

dextromethorphan can produce dangerous side effects, especially when

combined with alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription drugs.



    "Consumers have trusted the makers of over-the-counter medications with

the health of their families for many years. National Medicine Abuse

Awareness Month presents a timely opportunity to build community awareness

and alert parents and teens that abusing medicine to get 'high' is very

dangerous," said Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer

Healthcare Products Association.



    In recognition of this designation, CHPA and CADCA will be hosting town

hall meetings nationwide with local anti-drug abuse advocates, substance

abuse treatment experts, healthcare professionals, and policy makers. The

town hall format offers opportunities for community residents to join the

discussion and ask questions of the panelists.



    "While surveys show that overall illicit drug use among youth is on a

downward trend, unfortunately the rates of over-the-counter and

prescription drug abuse are holding steady," said Gen. Arthur T. Dean,

CADCA Chairman and CEO. "Designating August as National Medicine Abuse

Awareness Month will help bring this issue to the radar screen, and I hope

community organizations take advantage of this opportunity to raise

awareness about this dangerous trend."



    Town hall meetings scheduled during August include Seattle, Washington;

San Antonio, Texas; and Miami, Florida. This designation, if passed into

law, would mark the second annual National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.

In all, CHPA and CADCA have hosted a total of 13 town hall meetings

nationwide since August 2007. Localities interested in hosting their own

town hall meetings have access to all materials via DoseofPrevention.org.

For more information about all of CHPA's activities to help curb cough

medicine abuse, visit StopMedicineAbuse.org.



    About the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA)



    CHPA, founded in 1881, is a member-based association representing the

leading manufacturers and distributors of nonprescription, over-the-counter

(OTC) medicines and nutritional supplements. Many CHPA member products

provide millions of Americans with safe, effective, and convenient

therapies for the treatment and prevention of many common ailments and

diseases. To learn more about CHPA, visit http://www.chpa-info.org.



    About the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)



    CADCA is the national membership organization representing over 5,000

coalitions working to make America's communities safe, healthy and

drug-free. CADCA's mission is to build and strengthen the capacity of

community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public

policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and

special events. For more information about CADCA, visit http://www.cadca.org.





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