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D.A.R.E. cited in press release for support of proposed legislation which would prohibit the sale of cough medicines containing the ingredient dextromethorphan to minors.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Rep. Bill Johnson – BEN KEELER (330) 337-6951

Rep. Doris Matsui – JULIE EDDY (202) 225-7163

Johnson, Matsui Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Teen Abuse of Over-the-Counter Cough Medicines

 Bill would prohibit the sale of cough medicines containing the ingredient dextromethorphan to minors

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the DXM Abuse Prevention Act in a bipartisan effort to prevent teen abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, commonly referred to as DXM. The bill would establish a national age-18 requirement for the purchase of medicines containing DXM.

According to the 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Monitoring the Future study, 1 in 30 teens admits to abusing DXM. Teens report taking 25 times or more of the recommended dose when abusing these medicines. Often referred to by the slang terms “dexing”, “Robotripping”, or “Triple C’s”, abuse of DXM leads to side effects including nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, and disorientation.

“This bipartisan bill is a common sense way to extend the good faith efforts made by retailers and manufacturers to ensure that cough medicine remains easily accessible to those that use it appropriately, but inaccessible to those that seek to abuse it,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Congress must not wait for more tragic stories of children overdosing before it acts. By acting now, we can make a dramatic reduction in the number of those that abuse DXM.”

“Teens are taking large doses of cough and/or cold medicine to get high, largely because of its easy availability,” said Congressman Johnson. “Teenagers, parents, and leaders in every community across America need to be educated about this danger that can so easily fly under the radar. This is a simple, common sense, bipartisan effort, and I thank Congresswoman Matsui for joining me and for her leadership on this important issue. We must continue to educate, guard against, and work to prevent this abuse, and in doing so, strengthen the communities we live in.”

Supported by the makers of the medicines through their trade association the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, this bill would limit teen access to the medicines by ensuring teens seeking to abuse them would not be able to purchase them. An age restriction would also alert parents and other community stakeholders of DXM abuse.

Additional supporters of the legislation include:

  • American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC)
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
  • Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
  • International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)
  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)
  • National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
  • National Consumers League
  • Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
  • Safe Kids Worldwide

“A national law prohibiting teens from buying DXM will be a powerful tool in prevention and we applaud Congressman Johnson and Congresswoman Matsui for their steadfast leadership on this issue,” Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids said. “It is so important to keep that 13-year-old from ever starting or preventing that 15-year old from purchasing. We have worked so hard to educate parents, teachers and coaches about talking to teens and to be aware of the warning signs over the years – and it has been successful –but we need this legislation to ensure these pre-teens and teens can’t purchase the products themselves in the first place.”

CADCA Chairman & CEO Gen. Arthur Dean said, “CADCA is strongly supportive of the DXM Abuse Prevention Act, which would prohibit the sale of products containing dextromethorphan to those under the age of 18. CADCA and its 5,000 coalition members nationwide have been on the front lines of addressing prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, including the misuse and abuse of dextromethorphan, for more than 13 years. We need to make sure that all kids in every community have the ability to live healthy, drug-free lives, and this bill is a major step in achieving that.”

Parents can learn more about the side effects of abusing DXM and how to prevent their teens from abusing cough medicine at

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