CADCA and Leading Makers of OTC Medicines Call Communities to Action During National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Educational efforts in over 50 locations nationwide raise awareness about teen medicine abuse

Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2012)—The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) are mobilizing communities through National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month to stop prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine abuse one community at a time.

Each October, CADCA and CHPA team up for National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, challenging CADCA’s  at least 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions across the country to hold a town hall or other educational event about teen prescription and OTC medicine abuse.  The goal is to hold events in 50 communities, an annual call to action that is known as the CADCA 50 Challenge. Through this initiative, parents in communities across the country can more easily access the resources they need to prevent their teens from abusing medicine.

“Community coalition leaders across this country have been addressing medicine abuse for many years now in a comprehensive, holistic manner, bringing everyone to the table to help educate parents, protect kids and solve this significant problem.  But communities cannot go it alone; they need state and national support –and that’s why I’m so proud of our long-standing collaboration with CHPA and their members.  Working together, I know we can drive medicine abuse rates down,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO.

CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s StopMedicineAbuse campaign, which raises parental awareness about OTC cough medicine abuse, a dangerous teen behavior that can go unnoticed. “Parents often have no idea that teens can abuse medicines in their home,” CHPA President and CEO Scott M. Melville said. “By taking an integrated approach that includes mobilizing local communities, educating parents to safeguard their home medicines, and informing teens themselves about the dangers of medicine abuse, we can help curb this teen behavior.

“With the help of CADCA advocates all across the country, the StopMedicineAbuse campaign works to alert parents about teen abuse of OTC cough medicine. Five percent of teens say they have abused these medicines to get high, and we want to educate parents about this problem so that they take steps to monitor the medicines in their home. When parents talk to their teens about drugs, we also encourage them to talk about the dangers of medicine abuse, including OTC medicines.”

Melville noted that the awareness month is also an opportunity to increase support for the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act of 2012 (S. 3376) that would prohibit the sale of OTC cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to teens under the age of 18.

@CADCA and @StopMedAbuse will co-host a Twitter chat about medicine abuse prevention on Tuesday, October 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. EST.  Use the hashtag #PreventMedAbuse to participate in this live discussion.

For more information about how to prevent prescription drug abuse or to get involved in the CADCA 50 Challenge, go to To learn more about OTC cough medicine abuse and to order free brochures, go to or the StopMedicineAbuse Facebook page.

Contacts:  CHPA:  Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260
CADCA: Mary Elizabeth (Mel) Elliot, 703.706.0560 Ext. 247

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

CHPA is the 131-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements. To learn more about CHPA, visit