Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
Taking the medicine in a different way than you are
supposed to, (i.e. crushing tablets and then snorting or
Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting
Opioids: prescribed for pain relief.
-Percocet, Tylox, OxyContin, Vicodin, Lortab, Dolophine
CNS Depressants: prescribed for anxiety or sleep
problems (often referred to as sedatives or tranquilizers)
-Valium, Xanax, Fiorinal/Fioricet
Stimulants: prescribed for ADHD, narcolepsy (sleep
disorder), or obesity
The active ingredient found in
most over-the-counter cough
Became FDA approved in the
Most widely used cough
suppressant ingredient in the
Cough medicines with DXM are
safe when taken according to
labeling instructions, but can
be dangerous when taken in
excessive amounts that are
higher than the recommended
Nausea and vomiting
Double or blurred vision
Impaired physical coordination
Rapid heart beat
Numbness of fingers and toes
More than 100 OTC medicines
containing DXM are on the market
These medicines come in the form
liquids, capsules, gelcaps, lozenge
s, and tablets.
Common DXM-containing cough
Plus™, Comtrex™, Coricidin™, Dels
ym™, Dimetapp™, Mucinex
DM™, Pediacare™, Robitussin™, T
heraflu™, Triaminic™, Tylenol
Cough & Cold™, Vicks
DayQuil™/NyQuil™, Vicks Formula
Empty cough medicine boxes or bottles in the trash of your child’s
room or in your child’s backpack or school locker
Purchase or use of large amounts of cough medicine when not ill
Missing boxes or bottles of medicine from home medicine cabinets
Visiting pro-drug websites that provide information on how to abuse
Internet orders, the arrival of unexpected packages, or
unexplained payments by credit card
Changes in friends, physical appearance, or sleeping or eating
Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities
Hostile and uncooperative attitudes
Unexplained disappearance of household money
Unusual chemical or medicinal smells on your child or in his or her
Education- Teach parents, youth, and patients about the dangers of abusing
prescription drugs. Require prescribers to receive education on the appropriate
and safe use, proper storage, and proper disposal of prescription drugs.
Monitoring- Implement prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) in every
state to reduce “doctor shopping” (patients will request care from several
physicians). Enhance PDMPs so they can share data across states and can be
used by healthcare providers.
Proper Medication Disposal- Develop convenient and environmentally safe
prescription drug disposal programs.
Enforcement- Provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to eliminate
improper prescribing practices and stop pill mills, (doctor, clinic or pharmacy that
is prescribing or dispensing powerful narcotics inappropriately or for non-medical
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medication, especially if
you are unsure about its effects.
Keep your doctor informed about all medications you are
taking, including over-the-counter medications.
Read the information your pharmacist provides before starting to
Take your medication(s) as prescribed.
Keep all prescription medications secured at all times and properly
dispose of any unused medications.
“Many illegal street drugs
were at one time used or
prescribed by doctors or
psychiatrists but were later
banned when the evidence
of their harmful effects
could no longer be ignored.
heroin, cocaine, LSD, meth
The smart drug
For DXM: dex, drex, orange
crush, poor man’s x, red
hots, robo, rojo, robotard, skittles, syrup
head, Vitamin D
In what ways do you think illegal drugs are
different from prescription drugs?
Why doesn’t prescription drug abuse get as
much attention as illegal drug use?
Should doctors limit their prescriptions of
painkillers to prevent others from becoming
Treatment Referral Helpline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Visit this link to find treatment centers in your
National Institute on Drug Abuse (October 2011). Commonly
Abused Prescription Drugs Chart. Retrieved from
2. Office of National Drug Control Policy (April 2011). A Response
to the Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse. Retrieved from
3. Stop Medicine Abuse (n.d.). What is DXM. Retrieved from
4. Medline Plus (February 2014). Prescription Drug Abuse.
Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/