Dangers Lurking in Your Medicine Cabinet
“Purple Drank” is a deadly combination of cough syrup and soda going viral through social media, as Montel Williams recently reported on the Dr. Oz show. Kids are dying from the effects of purple drank! Even the DJ who first made it popular in the hip-hop culture, died from it. The cough syrup contains codeine and promethazine. These opiates or narcotics first cause a euphoric high but can then causes breathing to shut down—plus an antihistamine whose well-known drowsy effects makes the person unaware of their dangerous situation.
Because the higher doses of codeine are only available by prescription, teens have discovered dextromethorphan (DXM) a codeine like cough medication that is affordable and readily available over-the-counter. With more than 20 slang terms for the abuse of DXM, research shows, 1-3 teenagers know someone who has used OTC cough medicine to get high.
Over-the-counter cough medicines simply don’t work, so there’s no reason to have them in your medicine cabinet. “The best studies we have to date would suggest there’s not a lot of justification for using these medications because they haven’t been shown to work,” says top cough expert Dr. Richard Irwin of UMass Medical School and chairman of the cough guidelines committee for the American College of Chest Physicians.
Don’t buy OTC cough medications. Support the organization that wants to take dangerous cough medication off the market and replace them with safe and effective natural cough medicines.
Please, if you have teenagers, go to your medicine cabinet and throw away any cough syrup containing codeine and dextromethorphan. Then go to StopMedicineAbuse.org to lend your support. It’s all about teens abusing cough medicines and the brain damage they cause.
The website will give you information on how to reach out to health care professionals, other parents, the school nurse, and even your legislators to take these dangerous cough medicines off the market. You can also do this by signing the petition here at act.stopmedicineabuse.org. It would also be a great idea to have a heartfelt talk with your teens. Tell them how much you love them, and explain the dangers of abusing cough medicines.
- Herbs and natural remedies: The juice of half a lemon, in hot (not quite boiling) water with honey is both soothing and healing, as is gargling with warm salt water.
- Herbal cough lozenges like Ricola or Olbas contain healing herbs and are much more effective than a non-medicated lozenge like Hall’s.
- A homeopathic cough medicine like Chestal or Hyland’s in syrup or tablet form.
- The simplest and most inexpensive solution is keeping water with you at all times. When you feel the urge to cough, take a sip of water and swallow hard.
For more about these natural cough-stopping methods, check out Cough Cures. -Gustavo Ferrer MD
Let’s make this go viral! Repost this blog with these hashtags #purpledrank #dmxabuse