Medicine Makers Offer Parents the Tools to Help Prevent Teen Medicine Abuse

CHPA and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America® release English and Spanish resources

Washington, D.C. (September 15, 2005)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the trade association for over-the-counter (OTC) medicine manufacturers and distributors, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America announced today the release of two brochures on teen cough medicine abuse. The first brochure is a revised edition of the well-received Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse: A Parent's Guide; the second is a new Spanish-language resource on the same subject entitled Guía Para Los Padres: Prevenga Que Sus Hijos Abusen De Las Medicinas Contra La Tos. The brochures provide information parents need to identify and prevent teen OTC cough medicine abuse and offer resources for more information. Both will be available online at CHPA’s web site,, and at the Partnership’s web site,

“The OTC medicine industry takes very seriously the intentional abuse of any of its products,” said CHPA President Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A. “That’s why we are working with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America to ensure the right audiences, particularly parents, are aware that some teens may be considering abusing OTC cough medicines containing dextromethorphan. Raising awareness to the problem is the key to solving the problem and ensuring that these beneficial medications are not abused.”

“Research released by the Partnership this year underscores the need for parental education on the subject of cough medicine abuse,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of the Partnership. According to the 2004 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, approximately nine percent of teens, or 2.2 million young people, has abused OTC cough medications intentionally to get high. The abuse rate is higher for Hispanic teens, with 12 percent reporting using cough medicine to get high.1

The materials unveiled today by CHPA and the Partnership are part of a comprehensive educational campaign targeting teen medicine abuse, set to launch in late fall 2005.

1Conducted by Roper Public Affairs and Media for the Partnership. Survey of adolescents in grades 7 through 12.

Contacts: Elizabeth Assey and Virginia Cox, 202.429.9260

CHPA is the 124-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.