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Letter: Law fights cough-syrup abuse

The Federal Trade Commission says deals delaying generic

The Federal Trade Commission says deals delaying generic drugs cost consumers $3.5 billion a year. Credit: iStock

As a teacher and mother with a son in recovery, I have seen the impact that substance abuse can have on families and communities. That's why I am relieved to see that a new law went into effect March 26 prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to anyone younger than 18 without a prescription.

Many parents don't realize that approximately one in 25 teens has reported intentionally ingesting excessive amounts of dextromethorphan to get high. Cough medicines can safely relieve symptoms, but dextromethorphan abuse is dangerous. When abused with alcohol or other drugs, it can even be deadly.

Tammy Walsh, Northport

Editor's note: The writer is a founder of advocacy group Five Moms: Stopping Teen Cough Medicine Abuse.