CCC deaths news reports

Discussion in 'DXM' started by Alfa, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    I stumbled on this:
    Parents issue warning on danger of medicine
    By Doris Bloodsworth
    Sentinel Staff Writer

    December 21, 2002
    Brightly lit Christmas decorations outside the Darlings' Longwood home contrast starkly to the inside filled with flowers and grief since the death earlier this week of Jennifer, 18, who may have died from an overdose of cold medicine.
    The Lake Brantley High School senior's exact cause of death awaits the results of toxicology reports. But her parents think she died from an overdose of Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold medicine.
    Authorities here and across the nation report widespread abuse of the over-the-counter cold medicine. One drug counselor said abuse is particularly common among younger teens. Some stores have moved the product off aisles to make it less accessible.
    Jim and Jill Darling said a medical examiner told them that their daughter, who loved to skate and work jigsaw puzzles, had no physical problems.
    The Darlings said Jennifer's friends told them she had recently started abusing the cold tablets, and Jim Darling overheard his daughter and a friend last week talking about getting high on Coricidin.
    "I discussed it with my wife, but we didn't think it was serious," Darling said.
    Seminole County sheriff's investigators found 32 of the red Coricidin cold tablets in a small plastic bag in Jennifer's dresser.
    Luis Delgado, a Seminole County addictions counselor, said almost one-third of his teen clients say they abuse Coricidin. One client overdosed three times, he said.
    "I've been screaming about this for two years," Delgado said.
    Steve Olson, a spokesman for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, said investigators had no idea the drug was a problem and were stunned when they researched the problem online.
    Drug counselors said abusers using Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, designed for people with high blood pressure who can't use decongestants, report effects ranging from a drunken feeling to hallucinations.
    At least two Central Florida stores have taken Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold medicine off their aisles in the wake of Jennifer Darling's death. Stores around the country have taken similar action after reports of fatal overdoses in California, Michigan and Ohio. An Indiana Walgreens pharmacist keeps the medicine locked in a cabinet.
    The Altamonte Springs Publix grocery store where Jennifer worked bagging groceries and the Albertson's grocery and pharmacy nearby on Montgomery Road have moved the drug behind the counter where pharmacists can monitor sales.
    A spokesman for Schering-Plough of New Jersey, the makers of Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, expressed sympathy over Jennifer Darling's death and said his company has taken a number of steps to counter abuse of its product, such as repackaging the product and creating online warnings. The company also supports retailers who keep the product behind the counter.
    Information about nonprescription drug abuse can be found at
    Jim Darling planned to discuss his daughter's death on a drug-education radio show, The Couch, which airs on 660 AM (WORL) at 9 a.m. today.
    The Darlings, family members and friends remembered Jennifer as a friendly, caring person in a standing-room-only memorial service at a VFW hall on Edgewater Drive attended by more than 150 friends and teachers Friday. Traci Darling, Jennifer's 14-year-old sister, made a poster filled with photos from a family album.
    A tearful Jim Darling said he and his wife and daughter found Jennifer lying dead on the bathroom floor when they checked to see if she was getting ready for school about 6 a.m. Monday. Paramedics pronounced her dead moments later.
    Delgado said he hopes Jennifer's death will serve as a wake-up call to local law enforcement, teachers and parents.
    Doris Bloodsworth can be reached at [email protected] or 407-420-5446. Copyright © 2002, Orlando Sentinel
  2. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands,1299,DRMN_15_2978782,00.html. The relevant part of this report is the mentioned death of Blair Worthley on 1 May, 2004 from an overdose of an unspecified number of Coricidin pills. I'll presume these were the Coricidin Cough and Cold variety, as that is specifically mentioned in another part of this news report. Blair's pastor mentions that he considered Blair to be addicted to Coricidin. Thus, because of the rather long half-life of DXM and chlorpheniramine in the body at abuse levels, it is possible that the amount in his system built up to high levels. -------------
    Cough syrup abuse rises
    Center notes 20% increase in '03 reports; one '04 death
    By Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News
    June 21, 2004
    Calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison Center about cough and cold medicine abuse shot up 20 percent to 275 reports last year, topped only by calls about sleeping pills and painkillers.
    And, in the past two months, attempts to get high on cough or cold medicine killed a 20-year-old Westminster man.
    On May 1, Blair Worthley, of Westminster, died of an overdose of Coricidin HBP, an over-the- counter tablet form of cough medicine.
    The medicine's active ingredient is dextrometh-orphan, or DXM or Dex, which can cause fanciful hallucinations but also seizures, agitation and permanent kidney and liver damage.
    DXM is found in more than 120 nonprescription cough and cold medicines, including Robitussin, Vicks NyQuil and Vicks Formula 44.
    Abuse of cough medicine has come in and out of popularity for at least 40 years, but now, in metro Denver, it is a growing, dangerous problem.
    In the first five months of this year, the Rocky Mountain Poison Center recorded 53 overdoses from cough and cold medicines, said Dr. Alvin C. Bronstein, medical director of the center run by Denver Health Medical Center. "It's a problem, and it's popular. How popular, I can't tell you."
    Bronstein said he believes the number of overdoses is underreported because hospitals don't have a quick lab test to detect dextromethorphan in the system. If a teenager comes in hallucinating and having seizures, dextromethorphan may be partly to blame, but kids may have combined it with other drugs including alcohol, Ecstasy or marijuana.
    In addition, emergency rooms do not report all their cases to the poison control center. Nor do all teens having a bad trip seek medical help.
    "It's well-known among the teen community," Bronstein added. Typically, a user will buy a 16-tab box of Coricidin and use the whole box at once. At $5 or $6 a box, "it's a cheap high."
    Abuse of Coricidin is more dangerous than Robitussin and other DXM-only medicines, experts say. That's because Coricidin also contains a few milligrams of chlorphen-iramine maleate, which is metabolized by the same liver enzyme as DXM. The two drugs together are a dangerous combination.
    At Wal-Mart stores, pharmacists now keep Coricidin and Sudafed products behind the counter and limit to three the number of packages a customer can purchase at one time. A pharmacist at the Brighton store who did not want to give his name said abuse and theft are the primary reasons that Wal-Mart chose to move the drug.
    King Soopers stores still stock Coricidin on the shelves, but a pharmacist at a Golden store said the company might consider moving it if the trend toward abuse continues. That's what they've done with Sudafed, which can be used to make methamphetamine.
    "I just don't sell it to teenagers," said the pharmacist, who asked not to be named.
    "Just because it's over the counter does not mean it's safe. Anything in large quantities can be toxic," the pharmacist said. "If there's an underlying condition, such as a heart, liver or kidney problem, it could push them over the edge.
    "If you start putting chemicals into the system, it might shut down."
    Cough- and cold-medicine abuse is not unique to Colorado.
    In Cheyenne, it has become one of the biggest problems in schools, according to Dawn Gay of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
    Gay recently told 30 parents at Central High School that of 12 children in Southeast Wyoming Mental Health's intensive outpatient program for adolescents, three are over-the-counter-medicine abusers.
    Gay outlined signs that children might be abusing drugs or alcohol, including a sudden increase in grades if the student is using a stimulant, or long periods of wakefulness, weight gain or loss, irritability, loss of interest in once-important activities and the disappearance of valuables from around the house.
    Blair Worthley's family tried to help him when they noticed a change.
    "Blair had always been a really good kid," said Michael Noel, his pastor at The Journey Christian Church. "He had his problems, but none concerned drugs or alcohol."
    The family is too distraught to talk to the media, so they asked Noel to speak for them.
    Worthley didn't handle his parents' divorce well, but it was his father's death that seemed to send him into deep depression. "Part of Blair died that day," Noel said.
    Nine months later, the sadness got so bad that Worthley moved to Nebraska, where he tried to put together a band. He apparently started his cold-medicine use there.
    By the time Worthley came back to Colorado for the first anniversary of his father's death, "he wasn't the same person," Noel said.
    "His depression and sadness were at all-time levels." He would take the Coricidin to get up, but it seemed to just bring him down even worse.
    Noel and members of Worthley's family took him to a specialist, who diagnosed a bipolar disorder and put him on medications.
    "We did everything right, at least we thought we did," Noel said.
    "But I didn't realize how addictive this stuff was," Noel added. Worthley started abusing the stuff again.
    "He couldn't get a job; he couldn't hold onto anything," Noel said. "He was taking a ton of the tablets."
    Still living in his father's house, he took too much one night and died.
    "He told me it just gave him a sense of happiness, of euphoria," Noel said.
    "He wanted to be a youth pastor, and he wanted to be a musician," Noel said, noting that Worthley helped Noel start the youth ministry at The Journey.
    Worthley is the only young person Noel knows who has died or gotten very sick from DXM. But he's worried he won't be the last.
    "Kids play games with this stuff, like the old drinking games. Instead of doing shots of tequila, they do shots of NyQuil or Robitussin.
    "The family is going through a lot of emotions and difficulty right now," Noel added. "It's just so sad."
    Reports increase
    Colorado calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, and the type of drug involved, in the past two years
    Drug 2002 2003
    Marijuana 92 100
    Heroin 14 24
    Cocaine 109 137
    Methamphetamine 71 82
    Cough medicines/ dextromethorphan 229 275
    Codeine 153 188
    Painkillers/ oxycodone 602 809
    Sleeping pills, tranquilizers/ benzodiazepines 1,012 1,212
    Methadone 87 97
    Morphine 150 208
    Ethyl alcohol 270 248
    Total calls 68,245 67,463
    [email protected] or 303-892-2897. Staff writer Katie Kerwin McCrimmon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    Copyright 2004, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.
  3. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    Original URL:
    Coroner Issues Stern Warning To Parents
    Deadly Trend Hits Central Ohio

    POSTED: 7:58 p.m. EST November 16, 2002

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Franklin County Coroner Dr. Brad Lewis (pictured, right) issued a stern warning to parents Friday night, advising them to keep a close eye on their teenagers. NewsChannel 4's Leslie Siegel reports that the warning came after two local teens died from a deadly trio of drugs.

    It's a combination many health experts and law enforcement officials say they have never seen before. The deadline combination involves dextromethorphan -- in cough syrups, chlorpheniramine -- an antihistamine, and morphine -- a prescription anesthetic.

    The different in dosages between getting high on these drugs and fatally overdosing on them is so small that experts are stunned that local teens are taking the risk.

    "It's not something I've seen or even had any of the kids telling me about," said Sgt. Michael Powell, of the Franklin County Sheriff''s Office.

    Franklin County Coroner Dr. Brad Lewis said "it represents a new trend."

    The trend has already killed two Central Ohio teenagers. Lewis said Chris Miller, 17, (pictured, left) and a teenage girl, whose name has not yet been disclosed, both died after taking a combination of the drugs.

    "The users decrease their respiration and blood pressure and will stop breathing for long enough periods of time that brain damage or death will ensue," Lewis said.

    Powell teaches drug education classes to parents at local schools and also works undercover with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office special investigative unit. He said teenagers have been abusing cough and cold medications for years and the addition of morphine is alarming.

    "(It's) scary, because the kids are obviously taking chances just doing the two, or even one alone," Powell said. "It's scary, very scary."

    Powell said it's also distubing because the teens are likely stealing the morphoine or buying it illegally. Because the coroner said there's no connection between the two teenagers who died, Powell said use of the three-drug combo could be widespread.

    "The kids in the schools are going to be talking about it," Powell said. "They talk about it at the parties, at the ballgames, who's doing what. Could we have a problem? I think we already do, if we've got two dead."

    How can parents tell if their teenagers are taking these drugs?

    Powel said there are some drug-use warning signs:
    loss of appetite

    attitude change

    dropping grades

    different group of friends.

    Both Lewis and Powell said parents should monitor their children's Internet use. Many Web sites contain information on how to use dangerous drugs, including the three mentioned in this story.
    Original URL:
    Mother Hopes Teen's Morphine Death Will Save Others
    James Died Of Drug Mixture

    POSTED: 9:49 a.m. EST December 6, 2002
    UPDATED: 10:05 a.m. EST December 6, 2002

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The family of a teenage girl who died from taking morphine and an over-the-counter drug last month said they hope her mistake will shed light on a new drug problem in Central Ohio.

    Samantha James (pictured, left), 15, a sophomore at Delaware Hayes High Schoo, died on Oct. 20 after taking morphine and an over-the-counter cold medication called Coricidin.

    Spencer H. Huston, 16, of Delaware was charged Monday with corrupting another with drugs in connection with James' death.

    The Franklin County coroner said an ingredient in Coricidin, dextromethorphan, combined with the morphine to create a deadly combination.

    James allegedly took nine coricidin pills while out with her friends on a Friday night, then added a dose of morphine, NewsChannel 4's Mike Headrick reported.

    James' mother said she doesn't know if that was the first time her daughter took the drug combination, or if it was the first time she had taken drugs at all.

    "Samantha made a stupid choice, something that ended her life right then and there," said James' mother, Pam (pictured, right).

    "We talked to her about drinking. We talked about marijuana. We talked about date drugs. We talked about birth control. We didn't know about coricidin. We didn't know kids were doing morphine."

    Pam James said that when her daughter went to bed on Oct. 18, she never woke up.

    Another local teenager, Chris Miller of Pataskala, died just days earlier from a similar drug concoction.

    Experts say abusing cold medicine is nothing new, but adding morphine is, Headrick reported.

    "If someone hands you something, even if you know them, you can't trust it because they may not know exactly what it is also," Pam James said.

    The mother said she hopes her daughter's death was not in vain.

    "This Christmas, instead of shopping for presents, we're thinking about what kind of wreath we can put on her grave," she said. "And no parent should do that."
  4. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    April 04, 2002
    (Non)prescription for disaster

    Teens turning to over-the-counter medicines for highs.

    By JON OTTMAN - Staff Writer

    Many parents are concerned about their children getting high and are watching for obvious signs of hard-core mainstream use -- like drugs, residue or paraphernalia.

    Many kids, however, are getting high right under their parents' noses and it doesn't take a trip to the inner city.

    All it takes is a visit to their parents' medicine cabinet or the corner drug store for over-the-counter medications.

    While parents of teens who are abusing the otherwise legal drugs remain in the dark, police officers, medics and hospitals are becoming more aware of incidents involving their abuse.

    Detective Sgt. Thomas Kohl of the Shelby Township Police Department said he became aware of such abuse while investigating the death of a 17-year-old Washington Township boy.

    The teen died Jan. 20 after ingesting Coricidin HBP, a popular cold medication, in combination with alcohol, cocaine and heroin over a 24-hour period.

    Kohl said that many teens believe that since they are taking over-the-counter drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the medications are safe even in large doses.

    "Over-the-counter drugs are not safe when you take a whole package in one sitting," Kohl said. "Nothing could be farther from the truth."

    Firefighter/Medic Eric Gooch of the Shelby Township Fire Department was one of the two medics that responded to the call for help when the Washington Township teen was found unresponsive.

    Gooch said he was surprised to some extent regarding the circumstances surrounding the drug-related death.

    "But on the other hand, I wasn't so surprised. We'll get a call for a simple car accident and we'll get there and get a total lack of respect from the kids," he said. "We'll try to get information from them and they'll talk back to you and the police and then say they don't have to say anything. Then as we're treating them we'll look down in the car and find a bunch of cough syrup bottles. Then we can put it together."

    Jennifer Pacurari, substance abuse prevention specialist with Macomb Family Services Inc. in Romeo meets and talks to students at the middle and high school levels from districts all over Macomb County. Through these discussions she is hearing that abuse of over-the-counter medications is becoming more and more popular.

    One of the most popular over-the-counter drugs being abused is Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold tablets.

    The small red tablets contain a drug called dextromethorphan.

    Dr. Susan Smolinske is the director of the Poison Control Center at Childrens Hospital of Detroit.

    She said that dextromethorphan, known as DXM, Dex or Vitamin D, is a very effective cough suppressant with normally low side effects when taken in recommended dosages.

    A semi-synthetic relative of opiates, the drug is a key ingredient in at least 140 non-prescription products.

    Ironically, dextromethorphan was touted as a less addictive, less likely medicine to be abused than the narcotic codeine, once a popular cough syrup ingredient.

    Known by kids as Triple-C, Red Devils, Red C, Red Box or skittles, Coricidin is usually ingested several pills at a time. Some take a few while others take as many as one or two packages of 16 tablets at one time, well above the recommended dosages.

    Some teens use other products that contain DXM. These teens -- known as syrup heads -- use cough syrups like NyQuil or Robitussin, hence the other use terms "robo-dosing" or "robo- tripping."

    Smolinske said that teens abuse the medication to get a hallucinatory high that provides a disassociative anesthetic "out-of-body" experience, similar to phencyclidine, or PCP.

    "(Dextromathorphan) affects the receptors that cause psychotic behavior, which can cause the hallucinations," she said.

    One drug expert pointed out that many teens don't like the flavor of the syrups or having to drink from two to four bottles to get a high, making the Coricidin an "attractive" alternative.

    But the risks are high.

    The drug impairs judgement and reaction times, making activities like driving difficult and dangerous.

    Smolinske said that with high doses, DXM causes a high heart rate, high blood pressure and changes in mental status.

    According to the Maryland Poison Control Center, lethargy, slurred speech, stupor, nausea, stomach cramps and pain, hysteria, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), central nervous system depression and seizures are also possible. If someone vomits while sedated on the drug, they can aspirate and choke on their own vomit.

    While it is dangerous enough to abuse the dextromethorphan alone, drug manufacturers often combine the chemical with other drugs to provide effective multi-symptom relief for various maladies.

    Some expectorants and other ingredients in cough syrup cause severe nausea and vomiting in larger doses, negating the opportunity to get high.

    Other ingredients include pain-reliever acetaminophen -- the main ingredient in Tylenol -- and chlorpheniramine maleate, an antihistamine.

    Chlorpheniramine maleate is the other main ingredient in Coricidin Cough and Cold.

    While ingesting large amounts of over-the-counter medication for the DXM, teens are also ingesting large and dangerous amounts of the other medications.

    Acetaminophen in large doses causes severe liver damage and liver failure.

    "There are, I think, four different types of Coricidin," Smolinske said. "Two or three of the other types don't contain dextromethorphan, but they have acetaminophen in them. We've had a couple of cases where a teen has ingested the 'wrong kind' of Coricidin, probably because the pharmacy moved the other kind behind the counter. We caught those cases early enough that we were able to give them an antidote before the acetaminophen could destroy their liver."

    Chlorpheniramine maleate, while safe in normal doses, can cause negative side effects similar to DXM.

    Overdosing on both chemicals can multiply the negative effects, according to poison control literature.

    Smolinske said that she suspects that most of the life- threatening symptoms of Coricidin overdoses are caused not by the DXM, but by the chlorpheniramine maleate.

    There is also the danger of someone taking a large amount of dextromethorphan that is unaware of a heart defect or other health-related issue that could be fatal with side effects such as the accelerated heart rate and blood pressure.

    The poison control center received 34 calls for Coricidin overdoses in 2000 and 102 calls in 2001. In the first two months of this year alone, there were 33 more.

    Smolinske said that most cases the Poison Control Center is hearing about involve middle- and high-school-aged students from 13 to 17.

    Most calls are coming from other hospitals where teens are taken after developing symptoms.

    "What we're seeing is just a glimpse for poison control," she said. "We hear about the worst cases scenarios, but we don't hear about all of them."

    As with many other drugs, education for parents and teens is one important aspect of addressing the problem.

    "It's important for the community to be aware of all the different over the counter medications, and their effects, and to use caution about it," Pacurari said.

    Police have difficulty in becoming involved because as over-the- counter drugs, there are no laws preventing teens from possessing the pills.

    "There has to be a determination made by an officer for each specific incident," said Detective Lt. Robert Hennigan of the Shelby Township Police Department. "But as a general rule, what laws can we enforce if it's something legal for them to have?"

    Hennigan said if someone is intoxicated on the drugs, however, and is driving a car, they can be arrested for operating under the influence of drugs. If on foot and causing a disturbance, they can be picked up for disorderly conduct.

    Compounding the problem for authorities is the fact that "instructional" Web sites abound on the Internet, with directions on how to drink bottles of cough syrup without vomiting, which products to look for. Some sites have chat rooms and personal accounts or "trip logs" that describe the personal experiences of teens who have abused the drug.

    Many teens feel that if drug instructions and information is on the Internet, it must be accurate and safe.

    But that's not the case.

    "There is a lot of inaccurate information out there," Smolinske said.
    Staff Writer Edward Mandel II contributed to this story.
  5. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    Students using over-the-counter drugs for wrong reasons
    By Stefanie Green


    TAMPA, Fla. - Three days before Christmas, Jim and Jill Darling went to check on their daughter Jennifer, 18, to see if she was getting ready for school. They found her laying on the bathroom floor. Moments after when the paramedics arrived, Jennifer was pronounced dead.
    The Darlings said in an article in the Orlando Sentinel that Jennifer's friends told them she had recently started abusing cold tablets. The Darlings also said they think the cold medicine was Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold. The high school senior's exact cause of death still awaits results from a toxicology report, said David Bryon, spokesperson for the Volusia County, Fla., medical examiners office. However, upon investigation, Seminole County, Fla., sheriffs found 32 red Coricidin pills in a small plastic bag in Jennifer's dresser.
    Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold is designed for people with high blood pressure who can't use decongestants; yet, there have been reports of effects that range from a drunken feeling to hallucinations. This dangerous combination of feelings involves dextromethorphan (DXM), and by exceeding the amount recommended on the product label can cause many to have impaired judgment, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea, dissociation and a sense of euphoria to the point it is unsafe.
    According to the Council on Family Health and, there are 125 to 135 over- the-counter cold medicines that contain DXM. When used correctly, DXM is a safe and effective way to suppress cough and cold symptoms. Often teenagers who are looking to get high turn to over-the-counter drugs that contain DXM because they are readily available at home or a local drug store.
    DXM has been used safely for more than 47 years in several over-the-counter drugs, such as Vicks 44 Cough Relief and Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough Suppressant. However, since 1994, reports of abuse of DXM have increased.
    After Jennifer Darling's death, two Central Florida stores took Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold medicine off their shelves, and stores around the country have taken a similar action after reports of fatal overdoses in California, Michigan and Ohio.
    Carol Hively, spokesperson for Walgreens, said in the Tampa, Fla., area, there have been no reports of unusual problems with Coricidin lately. Hively said that means the stores are not experiencing any abnormal levels of theft or people trying to buy large quantities of the drug, which occurs when the product is abused.
    "Some of our stores nationwide do have these problems, and the store manager can make the decision to move Coricidin into the pharmacy so it can't be stolen," Hively said. "Our store managers and loss prevention supervisors monitor this situation closely."
    Sgt. Mike Klingebiel, spokesperson for the University of South Florida Police, said it isn't uncommon for students to take more than the needed amount of an over-the-counter drug to help them relax or sleep.
    "We have heard of substance abuse of over-the-counter drugs because they are readily available," Klingebiel said.
    Yet Klingebiel said he has never heard of Coricidin and had no idea the drug was being used as a way to get high.
    Jim Lawenda, spokesperson for Schering-Plough of New Jersey and makers of Coricidin, said the company has taken a number of steps to help provide better awareness of over-the-counter abuse.
    "We heard that over-the-counter abuse was becoming a bigger and bigger issue," Lawenda said. "We went to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, along with the Council of Family Health, to help make adolescents aware of the over-the-counter drugs and their abuse."
    Lawenda also said that besides helping companies become more aware of over-the-counter abuse, they hired an abuse expert. The expert will help Schering-Plough conduct research and counsel, Lawenda said.
    "We will be sharing our information with our retail partners and will also look to provide our expert to speak to parents and the media," he said.
    Addressing parents and schools, Lawenda said, is important to help inform them about signs of over-the-counter abuse.
    "Adolescents are stretching the levels so they can get high at any time," he said.
    Leonard Kirklen, clinical coordinator for the Counseling Center for Human Development at USF, said most of the time, when students come in with a problem, drug abuse is not the main reason why they seek help.
    "Students come in saying that they are stressed, having relationship problems or have other concerns," Kirklen said. "It isn't until further questioning that we find they are taking over-the-counter drugs to relax or to sleep."
    Kirklen added that the majority of the time students with a drug abuse problem know how many pills they are taking. He said it is, on occasion, that some don't realize the drug can become habit forming.
    Both Kirklen and Lawenda said the majority of overdosing on these over-the-counter drugs, such as Coricidin, occurs in conjunction with the use of alcohol or another drug.
    "It is rare that we see a story where Coricidin or any other drug containing DXM is all that the person took," Lawenda said.
    The Food and Drug Administration provides recommendations for proper dosage, Lawenda said. However, the dosage someone takes could depend not only on their age, but also weight, and can play a factor in overdosage.
    "This could affect the productivity of the person or could cause other actions," he said.
    "But trying to raise awareness about DXM and over-the-counter drug abuse can be hard," Kirklen said.
    "One of the problems is trying to te the person they have a problem and to find a solution, such as counseling, to relieve the dependence of the drugs from them," Kirklen said.
    Both the Council on Family Health and said to look for signs that friends or family members are taking excessive amounts of a cold or flu remedy after their symptoms have subsided. Also, if cough and cold medicines begin to disappear from medicine cabinets, or if packages of the drug are found in a friends backpack or room, he or she may be abusing the product.
    Jim Darling said he hopes his daughter's death has served as a wake-up call for law enforcement, teachers and parents.
    For more information about over-the-counter drugs that contain DXM go to
    Also, visit the Web sites of and the Council on Family Health
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  6. DXMpsyco

    DXMpsyco Newbie

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    Nov 9, 2011
    30 y/o from Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    I wonder what the autopsys showed. What physically made them die? Was it an enzyme deficiency, or just the maleate, what specifically. God bless the dead.