skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221516 Find in a Library
Title: Misuse of Over-the-Counter Cough and Cold Medications among Persons Aged 12 to 25
Corporate Author: RTI International
United States of America

SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies
United States of America
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: RTI International
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies
Rockville, MD 20857
Sale Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies
1 Choke Cherry Road, Rm 7-1044
Rockville, MD 20857
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Overview Text
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report examines the prevalence and patterns of over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medication misuse among persons aged 12 to 25.
Abstract: Dextromethorphan (DMX) is found in more than 140 OTC cough and cold medications; when taken in larger doses than the recommended amount, it produces hallucinations and dissociative experiences. Abuse of DMX among American youths aged 12 to 17, and young adults aged 18 to 25 has become a matter of concern in a number of State and metropolitan areas due to increased calls to poison control centers involving DMX. The 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health asked adolescents aged 12 or older questions related to their use of OTC cough and cold medications during their lifetime (lifetime or ever used) in the past 12 months for the purpose of getting high. Adolescents who reported that they used OTC cough or cold medications to get high in the past year were asked to specify the names of up to five OTC medications that they had used for this purpose: 30.5 percent misused a NyQuil product, 18.1 percent misused a Coricidin product, and 17.8 percent misused a Robitussin product. About 3.1 million persons aged 12 to 25 had misused OTC cough and cold medications at least once in their lifetime. Among persons aged 12 to 25 who had ever misused OTC cough and cold medications, 81.9 percent were lifetime users of marijuana. Slightly less than one-half were lifetime users of the hallucinogens LSD, PCP, Ecstasy, or were users of inhalants. Among youths aged 12 to 17, females were more likely than males to have misused OTC cough and cold medications in the past year, but among young adults aged 18 to 25, males were more likely than females to have misused these medications. Table, figures, notes
Main Term(s): Club Drugs; Juvenile drug abusers
Index Term(s): Drug information; Drug sources; Drug statistics
Note: National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report, January 10, 2008
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.