July 17, 2008

CHPA and CADCA Commend Senators Biden and Grassley on National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month Initiative


Contact: Elizabeth Funderburk of Consumer Healthcare Products Association, +1-202-429-3520 (w), +1-202-256-5677 (m)

Announce nationwide town hall meetings as part of educational effort

WASHINGTON,July 17/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) are pleased to lend their support to S.Res. 614, a U.S. Senate resolution designating August as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. Sponsored by Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.) and Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), this initiative calls for community involvement and participation in efforts to educate parents about the dangers of medicine abuse among teens.

Recent studies have spotlighted medicine abuse, including the abuse of over-the-counter cough medicines, as an alarming trend among young people. Where OTC cough medicines are concerned, some teens are intentionally taking excessive amounts--sometimes up to 50 times the recommended dose--to get high from the active ingredient dextromethorphan. When used correctly, dextromethorphan-containing medicines have a 50-year history of being safe and effective. But when abused in extreme excess, dextromethorphan can produce dangerous side effects, especially when combined with alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription drugs.

Consumers have trusted the makers of over-the-counter medications with the health of their families for many years. National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month presents a timely opportunity to build community awareness and alert parents and teens that abusing medicine to get high is very dangerous, said Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

In recognition of this designation, CHPA and CADCA will be hosting town hall meetings nationwide with local anti-drug abuse advocates, substance abuse treatment experts, healthcare professionals, and policy makers. The town hall format offers opportunities for community residents to join the discussion and ask questions of the panelists.

While surveys show that overall illicit drug use among youth is on a downward trend, unfortunately the rates of over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse are holding steady, said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA Chairman and CEO. Designating August as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will help bring this issue to the radar screen, and I hope community organizations take advantage of this opportunity to raise awareness about this dangerous trend.

Town hall meetings scheduled during August include Seattle, Washington; San Antonio, Texas; and Miami, Florida. This designation, if passed into law, would mark the second annual National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. In all, CHPA and CADCA have hosted a total of 13 town hall meetings nationwide since August 2007. Localities interested in hosting their own town hall meetings have access to all materials via DoseofPrevention.org. For more information about all of CHPAs activities to help curb cough medicine abuse, visit StopMedicineAbuse.org.

About the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA)

CHPA, founded in 1881, is a member-based association representing the leading manufacturers and distributors of nonprescription, over- the-counter (OTC) medicines and nutritional supplements. Many CHPA member products provide millions of Americans with safe, effective, and convenient therapies for the treatment and prevention of many common ailments and diseases. To learn more about CHPA, visit www.chpa-info.org.

About the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

CADCA is the national membership organization representing over 5,000 coalitions working to make Americas communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCAs 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 www.cadca.org.

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association

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