Thursday, August 02, 2007

National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month -- August 2007

This is it! August 2007 -- the first National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month!

Senate Resolution 225 passed the Senate on June 26, sponsored by Senators Biden and Grassley.

Let's hear it for education.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America have teamed with the good folks at the
Consumer Healthcare Products Association (founded in 1881 as The Proprietary Association to fight cough medicine abuse, a worthwhile endeavor.
Note the CHPA history:
"Eighty-four companies were represented at the group's first annual meeting in 1882. Standard therapy of the time included bloodletting, purging, and blistering, along with 'home remedies' concocted from various herbs. The great attraction of this 'green' medicine, as it was often called, was its safety. It didn't always help, but it almost never harmed.
Proprietary medicines flourished in this setting. In 1880, shipments were estimated at $15 million."

Without mentioning specific ingredients, it seems that this old trade association is proud of its role in distributing cannabis products in the 19th century.

Senate Resolution 225


June 7, 2007

Mr. BIDEN (for himself and Mr. GRASSLEY) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

June 21, 2007

Reported by Mr. LEAHY, without amendment

Passed the Senate on June 26, 2007


Designating the month of August 2007 as `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month'.

Whereas over-the-counter and prescription medicines are extremely safe, effective, and potentially lifesaving when used properly, but the abuse and recreational use of these medicines can be extremely dangerous and produce serious side effects;

Whereas 6,400,000 individuals who are age 12 or older reported using prescription medicines non-medically in a recently sampled month, and abuse of prescription medications such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives is second only to marijuana, the number 1 illegal drug of abuse in the United States;

Whereas, recent studies indicate that 1 in 10 youth ages 12 through 17, or 2,400,000 children, has intentionally abused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient, and 1 in 5 young adults (4,500,000) has used prescription medicines non-medically;

Whereas, according to research from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, more than 1/3 of teens mistakenly believe that taking prescription drugs, even if not prescribed by a doctor, is much safer than using street drugs;

Whereas teens' and parents' lack of understanding of the potential harms of these powerful medicines makes it more critical than ever to raise public awareness about the dangers of their misuse;

Whereas, when prescription drugs are misused, they are most often obtained through friends and relatives, but are also obtained through rogue Internet pharmacies;

Whereas parents should be aware that the Internet gives teens access to websites that promote medicine misuse;

Whereas National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month promotes the message that over-the-counter and prescription medicines are to be taken only as labeled or prescribed, and when used recreationally or in large doses can have serious and life-threatening consequences;

Whereas National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will encourage parents to educate themselves about this problem and talk to their teens about all types of substance abuse ;

Whereas observance of National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month should be encouraged at the national, State, and local levels to increase awareness of the rising misuse of medicines;

Whereas some groups, such as the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, have taken important proactive steps like creating educational toolkits, such as `A Dose of Prevention: Stopping Cough Medicine Abuse Before it Starts', which includes guides to educate parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, doctors and healthcare professionals, and retailers about the potential harms of cough and cold medicines and over-the-counter drug abuse ;

Whereas the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America and its community alliance and affiliate partners have undertaken a nationwide prevention campaign utilizing research-based educational advertisements, public relations and news media, and the Internet to inform parents about the negative teen behavior of intentional abuse of medicines so that parents are empowered to effectively communicate the facts of this dangerous trend with their teens and to take necessary steps to safeguard prescription and over-the-counter medicines in their homes; and

Whereas educating the public on the dangers of medicine abuse and promoting prevention is a critical component of what must be a multi-pronged effort to curb this disturbing rise in over-the-counter and cough medicine misuse: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the Senate--

      (1) designates the month of August 2007 as `National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month'; and

      (2) urges communities to carry out appropriate programs and activities to educate parents and youth of the potential dangers associated with medicine abuse .

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eric: What's the point? Pot was "legal" from 1776 to 1937. After 1937 to 1970, it was legal for medicinal purposes under federal law. Now, it is not. Wysowski and colleagues (2005) examined about 2.3 million AERS reports of adverse events covering approximately 6,000 drugs marketed between 1969 and 2002. During this period, more than 75 drugs or drug products were removed from the market because of reported serious adverse events. Are you suggesting that this practice is unnecessary or that pot drugs or any other harmful "medicine" should be permitted on the market?