Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sue Scheff: National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

As a Parent Advocate, I am frequently asked to post current events that can help you be an educated parent and raise safer children. Today’s generation of teens as well as the challenges of parenting can be overwhelming.

I recently posted an article about the dangers of Inhalant Abuse. These are items that can be found in your home and kids today have learned how to use them to ”get high.”

Today we are talking about cough medicine abuse. One of several parents is sharing her story with us. Please take the time to learn more about this growing trend. As with inhalants, these items can be easily located in your home and simply purchased at your local stores.
Read a recent letter (reprinted with permission) from a mother that is sharing her own experience of losing her son to medicine abuse.

My name is Misty Fetko. I am a registered nurse, mom of two, and the newest member of the Five Moms: Stopping Cough Medicine Abuse campaign. As I have been told, you have been one of the biggest allies of the Stop Medicine Abuse program, and I speak for everyone who’s been involved (even though I’m new!) when I say thank you for what you’ve done for these initiatives.

The reason you are hearing from me now is that October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, something that has particular meaning to my family and me. In 2003, I discovered my older son, Carl, unresponsive in his bedroom. He passed away that day from a lethal mix of drugs including Fentanyl, a prescription narcotic; marijuana; and dextromethorphan (DXM), the active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines.

As an emergency room nurse, I know about substance abuse from first-hand experience, but even with all that knowledge I never knew that teens were abusing cough medicine to get high. I’ve joined the Five Moms campaign in an effort to ensure that parents have all the information about medicine abuse that I unfortunately did not have.

As a widely read and influential voice in the online community, I am asking you to help me spread the word about the dangers of medicine abuse among your readers.
Thank you Misty for sharing your story.

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