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Press Release – Abuse of Over The Counter Medication, January 13, 2015

Abuse of OTC Medicines PRESS RELEASE 1-13-15

JANUARY 13, 2015

Abuse of Over-the-Counter Medicine

YouTube videos and other social media sites are stimulating a national trend in how over-the-counter medicine can be taken in large doses to produce intoxicating effects.

After viewing such sites, three 8th grade girls at Britton Middle School took a large dose of cold, cough, and congestion medicine on January 12, 2015. The girls became ill and their unusual behavior was noticed by others. The students were transported to the hospital for treatment. All three girls were released from the hospital but will be monitored by their health providers for long-term effects.

A general information email blast went out that same evening to Britton parents letting them know about this incident and to urging parents to be vigilant regarding household medications and social media. The school’s message encouraged parents to talk with their children about the lure of drug experimentation and the danger of exceeding the dosage for over-the-counter medications.

Cough and cold medications are very accessible. They are in many home medicine cabinets containing such drugs and they can be easily purchased or even shoplifted in retail stores.

Britton Middle School Principal Glen Webb is working with school staff to create an informational and educational video. The video will emphasize the effects of such medications and of the social media’s impact regarding the safety of abusing cough and cold medications. Once complete, the video will be posted on the school’s and District’s websites.

Representatives from the District are also working with the Morgan Hill Police Department and health care providers to provide safety information to students, parents, school staff, and even local retailers who carry such medications.

We want all parents to have conversations with their children about the dangers of taking drugs in ways that differ from the labeled purposes or as directed by a physician. Children must know that that such abuse may easily cause long-term organ damage and make a body susceptible to future disabling conditions.

We thank the Morgan Hill Community for joining the District in steps to protect our children.