Teens: Make the Right Decisions About Cough Medicine Abuse

Teens are under pressure to abuse drugs, including cough and cold medicines with DXM (dextromethorphan). They may want to avoid risky behaviors but may not be able to handle uncomfortable situations. Discussing drug use and abuse with your teen reduces the risk that he'll succumb to peer pressure.

WebMD has provided a set of scenarios with questions for your teen to answer in order to work through some of the situations they might face. Use it as a template or create other scenarios your teen may encounter.

Scenario: You're at a friend's house with some other kids you don't know well. One pulls out some cough medicine and says, ''Let’s see what happens if we all take these.'' It seems like everyone else agrees with the idea. How about you? What are you going to do?

Options. Read the questions across the top of the diagram and mark your answers in the boxes: yes, no, or maybe. (The diagram has been started for you.) Continue on through all the choices and questions. There’s some space at the bottom for you to write in your own options if you like. Then circle your best choice.


Your Options

Questions to Ask Yourself

Will this decision keep me safe?

Will the other kids make fun of me?

Will I lose real friends?

Will I regret this decision later?

1. Leave immediately and walk home - so long as you are in a safe area.







2. Tell everyone about the dangers of medicine abuse.



3. Threaten to call the police.



4. Go wait outside and call a parent to pick you up.



5. Give in and try some of the medicine, but tell yourself it will just be this one time.


6. Go along with the group, but tell a school counselor what happened the next school day.        









WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on October 23, 2018



Adapted from Stay Smart, Don’t Start, a Newspapers in Education supplement created by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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