Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

This content is from an educational collaboration between WebMD Editorial and

OTC Drug Abuse: Next Steps

Here's some guidance on what to do before you confront your son or daughter about over-the-counter drug abuse.

  • Don’t react impulsively. Don’t storm into your teen's room and start yelling. If you take that approach, you may regret it. Your teen may become immediately defensive. Instead, take some time to think about what you want to say.
  • Gather evidence. No, you don't need incontrovertible proof your child is abusing drugs; you don't need to set up an elaborate sting. But you may feel more confident if you can point to some evidence backing up your accusation. That evidence could be an empty bottle of cough medicine you find in your teen's room or in the medicine cabinet. But it might just include observations you've made that fit with OTC drug abuse, like odd behavior changes.
  • Do some research. Learn the facts about teen drug abuse of cough and cold medicine. Know which drugs are being abused, and why they're dangerous. You need to prove that you know what you're talking about.
  • Be prepared to have a discussion. Your job now is not just to pass judgment, mete out punishment, and leave the room. You need to talk to your teen. It may take some work – and a few tries – but you need to explain why you're so concerned about OTC drug abuse.
  • Know what your policy is. Before you start the conversation, you need to have settled on a firm set of household rules concerning drug abuse. Spell them out clearly. You also need to know exactly what the punishment is for breaking them.
  • Get support. You'll feel more confident if you have backup. Obviously, you and your spouse should be on the same page. But you might also find it helpful to talk over the situation with others -- friends, a therapist, or a clergy member -- both before and after confronting your teen.
  • Choose the right time. Don't delve into this discussion abruptly, 10 minutes before the bus arrives, or when your teen is in the middle of playing a video game. Do it when you'll both have the time to hash it out. Certainly, don't try to engage if your teen actually seems high.

Preparing for Middle School

Tips to help your tween cope with this exciting but risky time.
View slideshow

WebMD Video Series

Click here to wach video: Cough Syrup Drug Abuse

1 in 10 teens abuse cough medicine. It's dangerous, even deadly. Is your teen in danger?

Click here to watch video: Cough Syrup Drug Abuse