Cold medicine can be dangerous - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cold medicine can be dangerous

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January 10, 2008

Albany - - Some alarming statistics about a growing trend involving teenagers. A new report says five percent of people ages 12 to 25 have used over the counter cough medicine to get high. Doctors say you need to explain the dangers to your children.

Just because you can get a medicine over the counter, it should be treated just as seriously as if it were a prescription.

Tangelo Hill is new at being a daddy, but he's taking all of the necessary precautions.

"You try to keep all of that out of arm's reach to keep your child from being harmed."

He's referring to over the counter cough and cold medicine, which we all know can be dangerous to little children. 

Parents like Alicia Maddox realize the safety measures don't just apply to toddlers, it's also important for teens.

"I usually just put it in my own medicine cabinet and I issue it out myself," Maddox says.

She has a 16 year old daughter and she still watches were she stores her medicine.

According to researchers, that may not be a bad idea. A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says about 3.1 million teens and young adults used everyday cough medicine to get high quick.

"Just like you would follow your doctors prescription as he wrote it, you want to follow the directions on the box," says Pharmacist Ceila Taylor.

She adds using cough medicine inappropriately can effect your health.

"There are different effects on the liver and stomach. Any drug if abused and used the wrong way could have a negative effect," she says.

Hill says he'll continue to watch after his 1 year old, so that she doesn't become one of these statistics 11 years from now.

"At that particular point, hopefully we've taught well enough and taken the necessary precautions to make sure those things don't occur," he says.

Simply put, doctors say a drug is a drug. And all drugs, no matter how you get them, can be harmful when abused.

According to the report, abuse of cough medicines were at the same levels of illegal drugs like LSD, meth, and ecstasy among teenagers.

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