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Trying to Prevent Teenage Drug Abuse


Recent reports have exposed a dangerous trend among teenagers and young adults concerning the intentional abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.

Vicks® NyQuil®, the maker of ZzzQuil™, wants to help protect teens from the dangers of medicine abuse, but needs your help as parents to accomplish this goal. Experts report that medicine abuse can be prevented with a good child-parent relationship. In fact, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association® (CHPA), teens who talk to their parents about medicine abuse are half as likely to engage in this behavior.1

Because OTC drugs (such as sleep-aids) are easily accessible, young people might not realize how powerful they can be. It’s important to know the facts about OTC drugs and warn your children. Let them know that OTC products are not "safer" to misuse simply because they are legal, have a legitimate purpose, and are easy to buy.

Other ways you can protect your children include:2

  • Safeguard medications:

    Know what medicines are in your home and their quantities; keep all medications out of reach of children.
  • Encourage a healthy respect for all medicines:

    Teach your teens and younger children to respect medicines. Medicines are important tools in healthcare, but they must be used according to directions.
  • Educate yourself:

    Learn about OTC medicine abuse and what to watch out for.
  • Be a good role model:

    Set an example for responsible use of OTC and prescription medications by using them as directed.
Talking with your child about the responsible use of OTC drugs is one of the best ways to keep your child safe. Teach your child how to read and follow directions on the labels of all OTC drugs, and always monitor your child's use of these medications. OTC drugs are meant to help—not hurt—people, so please ensure your child knows the health risks of abusing medicines.

ZzzQuil products should only be used as directed for their intended purpose, which is why Vicks has teamed up with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). CHPA is a member-based association representing the leading manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines. The purpose of the group is to curb abuse of over-the-counter medicines. Visit from the CHPA Educational Foundation to get the resources and information you need to communicate with your children and help make informed and educated decisions.

Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). Available at: Accessed 22 May 2012.
Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). Preventing teen cough medicine abuse: A parent’s guide. Available at: Accessed 22 May 2012.