CHPA’s Five Moms Campaign to Stop Medicine Abuse Welcomes New Mom LeeAnn Weniger-Mandrillo

Washington, D.C. (August 19, 2015)—Today the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) announced LeeAnn Weniger-Mandrillo as the newest mom to join its Five Moms campaign to raise parental awareness of teen cough medicine abuse. Weniger-Mandrillo has a young son, James, and raised her nephew Andrew (now 23).  She resides in Niskayuna, N.Y., and owns and operates a social marketing firm focused on helping non-profits, coalitions, schools and other parent groups create social media and marketing campaigns about drugs, alcohol, mental health, bullying and more.

Millions of Americans use medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) – a safe and effective ingredient found in more than 100 over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products – for relief from cough symptoms responsibly. However, some teens intentionally abuse cough medicine containing DXM in excessive amounts – sometimes as much as 25 times or more the recommended dose – to get “high.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2014 Monitoring the Future report, nearly 3 percent of teens abuse OTC cough medicines.

CHPA, which represents the leading makers of OTC medicines, launched the Five Moms campaign in 2007 with the goal of driving parents to action – to educate themselves on medicine abuse, to talk with their children about the risks of such abuse, to safeguard medicines in their homes, and to spread the word to other parents.

“The issue of teen medicine abuse is particularly important to me, as I have focused my career on my community activism through work with the Prevention Council of Saratoga County, the New York State PTA, New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Paterson Coalition against Substance Abuse,” said Weniger-Mandrillo.

“I firmly believe that spreading the word about the dangers of teen medicine abuse can help reduce abuse rates and keep teens safe and healthy. As one of the Five Moms, I am excited to have an additional platform to reach families nationwide and raise awareness of cough medicine abuse.”

In 2009, CHPA introduced an educational icon on the packaging of cough medicines containing DXM to alert parents to the potential for abuse and combined Five Moms and all of its efforts to prevent teen cough medicine abuse into one comprehensive website: StopMedicineAbuse.org. This website provides access to all of the industry’s initiatives and interactive programs to engage parents and community leaders in the fight against teen cough medicine abuse.  StopMedicineAbuse.org also has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to spread the word about the abuse of cough medicines.

“We are excited to welcome LeeAnn as the newest member to our Five Moms campaign,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said.  “LeeAnn has dedicated her career to working with stakeholders to educate families about the dangers of medicine and substance abuse among teens. We look forward to partnering with her in our effort to reduce teen medicine abuse nationwide.”

The Five Moms campaign features five dedicated mothers from a variety of backgrounds and geographic locations. The four other moms on the campaign are:

  • Blaise Brooks, a caretaker and accountant;
  • Christy Crandell, an author and founder of a treatment and recovery center for teens;
  • Peggy McKibbin, a school nurse; and
  • Tammy Walsh, a high school math teacher and community advocate.

CHPA and its members are involved in multiple efforts to curb the abuse of OTC cough medicines containing DXM with the help of a host of partners, including the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), National Association of School Nurses and The Partnership for Drug Free Kids, among other parent groups, health professional societies, law enforcement, the retail community and pharmacists.

For more information on efforts to raise awareness of teen cough medicine abuse, visit StopMedicineAbuse.org.

 
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The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 134-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America’s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy. http://chpa.org

Contact: Trey Hollern, (202) 429-3547