Image

1:40 AM / Wednesday August 5, 2020

15 Jul 2012

Casey introduces bill to combat dangerous trend of cough syrup abuse among teens

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
July 15, 2012 Category: Local Posted by:

TWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent the abuse of cough syrup to get high, a particularly worrisome trend among teens.

 

The active ingredient in many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines dextromethorphan (DXM) is safe when taken as recommended, but 5 percent of teenagers report having intentionally taken large doses of DXM for effects that include hallucinations, confusion, blurred vision and loss of motor control. Senator Casey’s Prevent Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act will make it harder for teens to purchase the drug for this dangerous use.

 

“By addressing easy access to purchasing cough syrup for teens, the main cause of the harmful trend of its abuse, my bill will help keep our children safe and lessen the strain cough syrup abuse has put on families, hospitals and law enforcement,” said Senator Casey. “My common-sense legislation will prevent kids from purchasing a drug that has dangerous consequences when abused to get high, while also ensuring it is available to those with a legitimate need for it.”

 

The PACT Act will:

 

  • Restrict the sale of dextromethorphan to those over the age of 18 (unless presenting a prescription or meeting emancipated status); and
  • Ensure that only legitimate entities registered with the FDA or comparable state agencies can purchase raw, unfinished (bulk) dextromethorphan.

 

Across Pennsylvania, emergency rooms have seen an uptick in overdoses of DXM. For example, the Sunbury Community Hospital recently reported a doubling of cases of DXM abuse in the past year.

Image

Sunbury parent Bruce M. has experienced firsthand the impact that DXM abuse can have, as his own son has

struggled with abusing the drug. “We have watched in horror, disbelief and emotional pain as he overdosed multiple times, praying with each overdose that this would be the last time, sitting for hours in an emergency room cubicle and learning to struggle through the aftermath,” Bruce said. “Until this threat can be removed from easy access, more and more teenagers will abuse an otherwise helpful product simply because it is easy to obtain.”

 

Abuse of DXM has also put a strain on local law enforcement. “This is a serious problem that is being ignored; a problem that is creating long-term, negative effects for our youth, both from a legal and health standpoint; and it is creating challenges for law-enforcement in areas where limited resources exist and could be better used elsewhere,” said Sunbury Chief of Police Stephen Mazzeo.

 

“Senator Casey’s bill could really help communities like ours get better control of this problem and ensure better safety for our kids,” Mazzeo said.

 

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Senator Casey in introducing the PACT Act.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sun Report

Police agencies pulling out of Democratic convention

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email MILWAUKEE (AP) — More than 100 police agencies are withdrawing from agreements to...

Entertainment

Toronto sets lineup, Regina King to debut Muhammad Ali film

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Actor-director Werner Herzog, left, and actress-director Regina King. The Toronto International...

Stateside

NAACP Kicks Off 111th Annual Convention with Arts, Culture & Entertainment Festival

August 3, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Washington, D.C. – The NAACP will kick off its 111th Annual Convention on Monday,...

Commentary

A Millennial Voice: Vital Tonics

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Danaé Reid To the naked eye, Natalie Bustamante looks like your ordinary,...

Seniors

How self-determination is changing elderly and disability care in the age of COVID-19

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT The threat of COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has...

Go With The-Flo

Cuba Gooding Jr. catches the Gov. Cuomo’s ire after being photographed with his mask down at charity event

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Cuba Gooding Jr. (Photo: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock) By Florence Anthony...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff