Millions of teens abusing cold medicines

January 11, 2008

A U.S. survey says millions of teenagers and young adults are getting high off non-prescription cough and cold medicines.

The government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said 3 million young people in the United States between the ages of 12 and 25 admitted getting high off the medicines at least once. That number is comparable to LSD and more than the reported use of methamphetamines among those in the same age group.

The agency said overdosing on many cough and cold medications may result in serious life-threatening adverse reactions, including irregular heartbeat, delirium and death.

"Although non-prescription cough and cold medications are generally safe when taken for medicinal purposes and as directed on their labeling, they can induce severe dissociative, 'out-of-body' experiences when they are consumed in amounts far in excess of their recommended dosages," SAMHSA said Thursday in a release.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Semen harbors wide range of viruses

Related Stories

Semen harbors wide range of viruses

September 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Human semen provides a potential hiding place and breeding ground for a host of dangerous viruses, a new evidence review reports.

Chronic bronchitis new insights could lead to first diagnostic test and better treatments

September 6, 2017
When a patient arrives at a doctor's office with a persistent cough and the sensation of gunk building up in the lungs, the doctor's thought process is essentially the same as it would have been decades ago. There has been ...

Antibiotics are not always the answer

July 7, 2017
The discovery of penicillin in 1928 was heralded as a medical miracle. As one of the first antibiotics, it could cure patients of potentially deadly bacterial illnesses, such as scarlet fever, typhoid and pneumonia.

Study finds rate of medication errors resulting in serious medical outcomes rising

July 10, 2017
Every 21 seconds someone in the United States calls Poison Control because of a medication error. A new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital ...

Doubling up on cold, flu remedies may harm liver

January 30, 2013
(HealthDay)—Taking too much acetaminophen, an active ingredient in many commonly used drugs for fever and pain relief, including Tylenol, can cause liver damage, experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warn.

FDA shares advice to avoid colds and flu

January 2, 2015
(HealthDay)—Viral infections can happen at any time, but they're more common during winter when people spend more time in close contact with others indoors.

Recommended for you

Cancer drugs' high prices not justified by cost of development, study contends

September 12, 2017
(HealthDay)— Excusing the sky-high price tags of many new cancer treatments, pharmaceutical companies often blame high research and development (R&D) costs.

Non-psychotropic cannabinoids show promise for pain relief

September 4, 2017
Some cancers love bone. They thrive in its nutrient-rich environment while gnawing away at the very substrate that sustains them, all the while releasing inflammatory substances that cause pain—pain so severe that opioids ...

Fentanyl drives rise in opioid-linked deaths in U.S.

August 31, 2017
(HealthDay)—Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, is a key player in America's continuing epidemic of opioid-related overdose deaths, two new studies report.

Eating triggers endorphin release in the brain

August 28, 2017
Finnish researchers have revealed how eating stimulates brain's endogenous opioid system to signal pleasure and satiety.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

August 21, 2017
That statin you've been taking to lower your risk of heart attack or stroke may one day pull double duty, providing protection against a whole host of infectious diseases, including typhoid fever, chlamydia, and malaria.

Data revealed under FOI shows benefits of multiple sclerosis drug currently blocked by regulators

August 17, 2017
A drug that is blocked by the EU regulatory system has now been found to improve the quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BigTone
5 / 5 (1) Jan 11, 2008
The answer is simple... stop the rebellion by legalization (or decriminalization) - take a look at the Europeans and how they view our absurd alcohol laws... Our across the board "abstinence" style of rules for America's youths have little to no data that these programs are successful on a wide scale.

I always laugh at the "drug use is down" style headlines - it just means that kids are finding even more dangerous ways of getting a buzz.

There will always be bad apples in any environment and will abuse whatever system is in place - but lets not let those examples keep pushing us in the direction of insanity. Prohibition didn't work for adults and its not working for our youth...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.